SouthSide Works Furnace Parking Garage Design

SouthSide Works Furnace Parking Garage Design

  • Location: SouthSide, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Owner: URA Pittsburgh, PA
  • Size: 409 Spaces 147,901 SF 5.5 stories

Located on the former LTV Steel SouthSide Works site in the City of Pittsburgh, Furnace is the fourth of five parking garages designed by Graves Architects Inc. for this site.

The SouthSide Community asked that the garage do more than simply park cars; it’s design needed to respond to both vehicular and pedestrian scale, as well as delicately filling between a C1a building and courtyard. The garage utilizes natural earth tones in the pre-cast and masonry base as a backdrop for it simple yet modern detailing of canopy trellises and “Green Screen” mesh panels, which act as a medium for the use of vegetation as a design element. The combination of earth tones and rough masonry at street level with the climbing & flowering Boston Ivy softens the harshness of this predominantly pre-cast concrete parking structure.

On the 28th Street elevation, the Prairie Stone veneer base has a smooth face, which recalls the clean and dynamic forms of the automobile. In contrast, the courtyard elevation changes the texture of the stone base to a rough-faced surface to respond to the human sense of touch. This further enhances the feeling of comfort and warmth in the courtyard, which springs forth a garden oasis full of vegetation, elegant fountains and curving benches. Lowering the scale of the garage in the courtyard with the vine-covered canopies and cables keeps the visitor focused on the eye-level attractions rather than the vertical nature of the garage and surrounding buildings.

The heights of the spandrels have been lowered to give a greater sense of security to the patron. The well-lit glass stair towers follow suit and act as an inviting beacon to which one enters the garage. Uniting all these features achieves the goal of a safe, user-friendly, parking structure designed to serve the lively retail and entertainment district.