Springboard Design

Author: paul


The summer 2010 edition of Pecha Kucha is tomorrow night, Thursday, June 17th!

Don’t miss the informal and innovative presentations of 10 creative people – including Springboard’s own, Paul Rosenblatt – presenting in the format of 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide and then they sit the heck down!

The Rex, 1602 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Presentations begin at 8:00 pm. $5 per person

PechaKucha, means “chit-chat” in Japanese and was started by architects and designers to remedy long-winded lectures and presentations.  PechaKucha has spread to cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Beijing, Budapest, Hong Kong, London, and Pittsburgh!

There is some disagreement about how Pecha Kucha is pronounced. Wikipedia says it is ‘peh-cha koo-cha’ with emphasis on the second and fourth syllables. That’s how we roll.

Click here to learn more about PechaKucha.


At a press conference on May 25, 2010, in Fort Pierce, Florida, the A.E. Backus Museum announced that they are moving forward with the first phase of Springboard’s three-phase expansion plans for the museum. Phase One will be completed by late 2011. The expansion will include new permanent and temporary galleries, a rooftop gallery, an education center, sculpture garden and other spaces. The interior of the existing building will also be renovated to provide additional space for museum administration and an expanded gift shop.

The announcement was front page news in the St. Lucie News Tribune.  Backus Museum Executive Director  Kathleen Fredrick was quoted as saying that, ” We want the new museum to be the ultimate jewel of the Treasure Coast.” Springboard’s Principal, Architect Paul Rosenblatt, stated that the new building will be “100% green… we’ll be working with local consultants and local contractors. The expansion will make the museum an exciting destination that will bring new visitors and economic growth to Fort Pierce.”

For the whole story: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2010/may/25/fort-pierces-ae-backus-museum-about-to-start/


Springboard Design’s Loft / House will be featured on an upcoming episode of HGTV’s Bang For Your Buck.  Filming is scheduled for June, 2010.

Bang For Your Buck is a half-hour series that focuses on three homeowners from the same city who renovate the same room of the house with the same budget. After the renovation, experts determine the value of each home, dramatically revealing whose remodeling choices were good investment decisions.

According to HGTV, “We are bombarded with so many beautiful home renovation ideas, not only is it difficult to decide what we want, but it’s hard to determine which choices provide the greatest return on investment. Bang For Your Buck has the concrete answers on remodeling value and how to get the most out of any renovation budget.”

In this episode, Springboard Principal Paul Rosenblatt and his family will focus on the design of the Master Bathroom of their Loft / House renovation.

Almost invisible from the street, Springboard’s contemporary loft / house addition triples the size of an existing vintage 1917 Pittsburgh house. The spaces include a studio for a quilt artist, a living/dining room, and a master bedroom suite. The design features three floors, with 24 foot wide, column-free spans, and a 30 foot tall glass window wall facing a garden. Exterior materials include corrugated aluminum siding and painted cementitious panels. Conceptually, the design morphs a steel-and-aluminum industrial loft building archetype onto a traditionally gabled, masonry home. The fusion is surgical, removing the rear half of the gable to create a new, open-plan third floor. One existing, small bedroom is transformed into a dramatic, double-height hall for the new stairway, with a new skylight marking the transition space. The spacious master bath, with jacuzzi tub, shower, his and her sinks, and plentiful storage is covered in frosted sea-foam glass tile to complement the airy feel of the bedroom suite. Naturally-colored bamboo floors and recessed lighting maximize the lightness of the space and uninterrupted views to the outside.

Their design ideas, before and after photographs, and the remodeling value of the plan will be revealed when the episode airs later in 2010. (Date to be announced)


On May 19, 2010,  The National Aviary will mark the progress of its $18.5 million expansion and renovation with a topping off ceremony and raising of the project’s final steel beam.

This phase of the project includes construction of the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater for live bird presentations, films and educational programming; the creation of new facades and grand entrance along Arch Street; a new Café with indoor and outdoor seating; an open-air rooftop Sky Deck for raptor lure-flying demonstrations and special events; and a new education classroom. Significant renovations to the existing facility are also taking place.

The Aviary’s expansion and renovation are a project of Springboard Design of Pittsburgh and New York, and are being done with the goal of achieving LEED certification for green design. Work is expected to be completed in September 2010.

“The FliteZone Theater will be the nation’s first indoor educational theater designed to incorporate free-flight bird demonstrations as a critical part of conservation education programming,” says Patrick Mangus, executive director of the National Aviary. “Conservation-focused classes and presentations will be designed to help educate visitors about individual bird species, and about the importance of wildlife, biodiversity and the preservation of natural habitats.

In addition to meeting LEED green building criteria, the project is also being developed as a model for bird-friendly design standards.

“Millions of birds die each year from collisions with glass windows, lobbies and entrance spaces because flying birds read windows as small as 12 inches as an open void, and will attempt to fly through,” says Paul Rosenblatt, founding principal, Springboard Design. ”The National Aviary expansion will employ extensive use of fritted glass, a material that employs a barely visible dot pattern. Fritted glass admits light in, while appearing opaque enough from the exterior for birds to recognize the glass as a surface, not a transparent space. The facility’s airy new entry will demonstrate that it is possible to create light-filled spaces that are also bird-friendly.”


The focus of this year’s 9th annual AIA  ‘Build Pittsburgh’ continuing education  conference is on building bettter relationships between owners, architects, contractors, and engineers. http://www.aiapgh.org/home.html.

This year,  Springboard Principal Paul Rosenblatt AIA will be moderating one of the Practice Track sessions entitled “What Else Can I Do with This Architecture Degree?”

Panelists include: Maureen Guttman AIA, Pennsylvania Governor’s Green Government Council; Michael J. Kuchera, AIA, LEED AP, BBH Design; and Michael Paul Warren, AIA, LEED AP, Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

The program includes  case-study perspectives on how alternative professional careers can illustrate the practitioner’s knowledge and experience in application to non-traditional architectural practice. The presentation will examine the leadership skills that trained architects can utilize in other industries, and how the experience gained in those industries can also benefit the growth and prominence of the profession.



Springboard was recently selected to create a new operations center for Pittsburgh’s   United Cerebral Palsy service organization, UCP/CLASS,  that will be called their ‘Centre East’ building.  The 32,000 sf building located on Braddock Avenue between Edgewood and Swissvale, will house several major components of UCP Pittsburgh’s administration,  freeing up space in their Oakland building for more client programs and service.

Springboard’s approach to the renovation of the Centre East building will be to transform an existing big box retail space into a flexible, environmentally friendly, and accessible workplace/training center. One of the main goals of UCP Pittsburgh is to “build a community for everyone,” according to UCP CEO Al Condelucci PhD.  “The problem is how typical people in the community come to see and know people with disabilities,”  writes Dr. Condelucci in his book The Essence of Interdependence (Lash Publishing, 2008). Centre East will  raise the profile of UCP/CLASS in the community and help  to break down barriers to understanding.

Centre East is being designed as a LEED Silver building.


The National Aviary’s new Penguin Point exhibition was selected as  a Finalist in the 2009 Building Excellence Award competition. Penguin Point, completed in May, 2009, was part of the Phase 1 of the National Aviary’s multi-phased expansion plan.  Springboard developed this expansion plan and collaborated with PGAV on the design of Penguin Point and related interior spaces including a renovated Main Hall. Contractor for Penguin Point was Mascaro Construction.

The National Aviary is just about to start construction of Phase 2 of their expansion. Phase 2 – dubbed Project Phoenix – includes the construction of an Avian Theater, Education Center, Building Holding Building, Cafe and Gift Shop. Anticipated completion of Phase 2 is scheduled for Fall, 2010.


Springboard’s Founding Principal Paul Rosenblatt AIA will be chairing a panel discussion on the role that BIM (Building Information Modeling) can play in the greening of new museums. The panel, entitled, “Green Museums and BIM: Planning the Sustainable Expansion and Renovation of the National Aviary,” will also feature Iams Consulting’s President, Jonathan Iams.

Rosenblatt’s firm, Springboard, is the architect of the National Aviary’s $23 million expansion; Iams Consulting is serving as the project’s LEED consultant.

Rosenblatt and Iams, together with MEP engineer Xnth and construction manager Mascaro have developed and are implementing an innovative planning process for the sustainable growth of the National Aviary. Introducing BIM to the project, and coupled with regular community and quantitative reviews, the project combines high and low tech media and communications to create a hybrid process that is clear, effective, and forward looking. The major points that Rosenblatt and Iams will address focus on the benefits – and challenges – of using BIM software in the design of sustainable – green – museum architecture.

The panel is part of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museum’s 6th Annual Building Museums Symposium  to be held in New York City between February 28- March 2, 2010.

For more information on the symposium, overall, visit the symposium website at http://www.midatlanticmuseums.org/buildingmuseums.html. More specifics on the time and location of Rosenblatt’s panel discussion will be forthcoming.


The American Institute of Architects Pittsburgh Chapter (AIA Pittsburgh) today announced the appointment of Springboard Principal Paul Rosenblatt AIA to their Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2010. The mission of AIA Pittsburgh is to ‘improve for society the quality of the built environment by… raising the standards of architectural education, training, and practice, fostering design excellence, and promoting the value of architectural services to the public.’