August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Square Footage: 64,500
LEED NC 2.1 Certified
Design Honor Award, 2010
In an invited competition, we were awarded the commission to design the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. This civic building, a landmark for Pittsburgh and a world-class icon for the institution, stands as the armature, backbone and backdrop to the complex stories of African American culture, the arts and central role African Americans have played in Pittsburgh's history.
The facility is a center for the visual and performing arts for international music and education. The program elements include a 500-seat theater, a music café, galleries and flexible exhibition spaces located at the perimeter that enliven the exterior wall with an ongoing display of changing events.
In keeping with Pittsburgh's legacy as a leader in sustainable design, the building exploits the solar orientation of this tight triangular urban site. The north facing façade takes advantage of this limited solar exposure with a predominately glass wall that is transparent yet able to incorporate graphics and projected images, visually permeable by day and a stage for dramatic lighting at night.