SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture for Building Additions or Adaptive Reuse,
The University of Pittsburgh for Chevron Chemistry Annex with Wilson Architects, Inc.
|©Wilson Architects/Photographer: Anton Grassl | Esto|
The Chevron Annex is an air-rights addition to the existing teaching and research Chevron Chemistry Tower at The University of Pittsburgh. It expands synthetic and analytical chemistry laboratory space to enhance the quality of the research setting and revitalize the undergraduate and graduate chemistry experience.
An open laboratory ballroom concept was developed to enhance safety; allow easy reassignment over time; have interchangeable casework components and robust laboratory services, and promote communication and creativity within the high hazard setting of a chemistry lab.
The jury commented, “ . . . a real model for finding unexpected spaces on urban campus . . . this rises to the top over other urban insertion projects . . . makes a nice transparent gesture . . .”
The annex engages the campus and relates to the scale and materiality of neighboring buildings. Clear lines of sight, natural light with 270 degrees of panoramic views, and open spaces separated from the labs with glass walls create a collaborative setting.
The air-rights concept required careful integration of the structure into the existing auditoriums and lobby. Underutilized as a study and classroom, the original Ashe Lobby was completely transformed as a result of the integration of the annex support structure.
Extensive glass enhances the views and daylight afforded by the building’s siting. Light-color woods and tile humanize the lab space, providing a more intimate and collegial feel.
The annex has material, color, and scale that unifies the stylistic blend and reinforces the sense of place that is the University of Pittsburgh. It enhances campus fabric by creating memorable, human-scaled open spaces. Science is now visible within the campus setting making it more accessible to students.
“We could not be more pleased with the Chevron Annex. It bridges the campus' historic and contemporary fabrics while reinforcing vital outdoor learning and social spaces . . . it has literally revitalized the university’s chemistry community,” says Park L. Rankin, university architect and senior manager of planning and design.
Project Team: The University of Pittsburgh with Wilson Architects, Inc.; also Renaissance 3 Architects, P.C. (R3A); Affiliated Engineers Metro DC, Inc.; Barber & Hoffman, Inc.; Brown Sardina, Inc.; Mascaro Construction Company