NODES AND FABRIC: Reconnect, Reclaim, Reinvent

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University

Individual Studio Project 

Fall 2011 

Project designed and drafted in AutoCAD and rendered in Photoshop.  3D model and perspectives designed in SketchUp and rendered in Photoshop.  Diagrams and site analysis rendered in Illustrator. 


Located northeast of the West-End Bridge, this urban deisgn project seeks to revitalize Pittsburgh’s historic Manchester neighborhood and make connections between the largely underutilized industrial Chateau neighborhood located in the City’s Northside.  Currently divided by the physical and visual barrier of the elevated I-65, reestablishing and reconnecting the neighborhoods to the river will capitalize this largely unobstructed waterfront in Downtown Pittsburgh.  From a visual cartography exercise and an extensive site analysis, the corridor framework and plan were developed as a series of events within the urban fabric.  Titled “Nodes and Fabric,” the plan seeks to reconnect the historic neighborhood of Manchester, reclaim the riverfront to nature, and reinvent the post industrial character of Chateau.

Site Development
The basis for the corridor development project was to create a series of nodes within the urban fabric along the North Shore riverfront in order to attract local and regional visitors to this waterfront amentiy.  The framework plan takes cues from an existing pattern of activity of the North Shore which originates from PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirate’s baseball stadium, and is supported by additional regional attractions such as the Pittsburgh Steeler’s Heinz Field, the Rivers Casino, and the Carnegie Science Center.  While the Chateau neighborhood cannot support the same magnitude of activity as these destinations, the site plan proposes a series of new nodes which highlight key assets of the neighborhood through concentrated pockets of new and existing activities.  Four main objectives guided the final site plan and include:  a continuous riverfront trial, strengthened vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle connections through an at-grade I-65, and expansion of Manchester to the south through increased commercial activity at Allegheny Avenue.  In addition, the proposal includes plans for a new “T” transit stop which is supported through a variety of uses and transit oriented development.  With service already being offered to the North Shore destinations, the proposed extension will continue along the new I-65 boulevard and provide local access within larger regional transportation plans.

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