Springboard Design

Author: paul

Paul Rosenblatt AIA and Matt Fineout AIA Announce Formation of ‘Museum Architecture Team’ (M.A.T.) with Offices in New York and Pittsburgh

Award-Winning Architects Create New Museum Programming, Planning and Design Division of Springboard

Pittsburgh, Pa. (May 1, 2009) – Two of Pennsylvania’s leading architects, Paul Rosenblatt AIA and Matt Fineout AIA have announced the formation of a new division of Springboard Design. The division, called ‘Museum Architecture Team’ (M.A.T.), is a strategic design consultancy focused on the programming, planning, and design of growing museums worldwide.

The Museum Architecture Team (M.A.T.) has offices in New York at 18 West 18th Street, 9th Floor, 10011, and Pittsburgh, 24 Terminal Way, 15219. Co-Director Paul Rosenblatt can be reached at both offices by calling 412 855-6901.

“Our collaboration creates a wonderful synergy,” said Paul Rosenblatt AIA, Co-Director of M.A.T. and Founding Principal of Springboard. “Matt’s strong background in museum design and development will enhance Springboard’s drive to become one of the nation’s leading designers of sustainable museums and cultural facilities such as libraries, community centers, concert halls, multimedia centers and other tourist attractions.”

Architecture is a cultural product and a reflection of a project’s place and time. Springboard Architecture Communication Design LLC was formed to stimulate, inspire, create and produce new architecture, clear communication, and innovative design. Springboard’s mission is to serve as a catalyst to ‘springboard’ our client’s visions and help them to realize their strategic goals. For more information on Springboard, visit www.springboarddesign.net.

Mr. Fineout, who is best known for his work on Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain, comes to this alliance with a wealth of relevant experience and expertise.  Immediately prior to announcing this collaboration with Springboard, he worked as a Principal and Partner at EDGE Studio. In that role, he was involved in the design efforts for several award-winning cultural facilities including the New Hazlett Theater, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Service Building, and the Main Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Mr. Fineout earned his Masters of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture, and his Bachelor of Fine Art from University of Michigan.

Mr. Rosenblatt is best known for having established Springboard as one of the regions’ most innovative architectural firms focused on the design of sustainable museums and cultural facilities. Currently, he is designing a $23 million expansion of the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, the world’s first LEED certified aviary. Other notable cultural clients include The Maridon Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the A.E. Backus Museum, and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College. He is a recipient of the distinguished Orville Lance Prize for Architecture from the National Academy of Design in New York. Mr. Rosenblatt earned both his Masters of Architecture and Bachelor of Art degrees from Yale University.

“I am extremely interested in the M.A.T. strategy and it’s potential to provide unique design solutions within the museum and cultural institution communities,” said Mr. Fineout. “I believe this is a great opportunity to collaborate with Paul and his Springboard team to provide design services to the cultural community. I think the experience and knowledge that Paul and I bring to cultural projects is uniquely suited to provide solutions to the issues and challenges that face these institutions today. I look forward to my continuing collaboration with Paul and Springboard with a commitment to providing the highest level of service to these institutions.”

Springboard celebrates and advances the development of cultural facilities, places for the creation, production and dissemination of culture. Springboard was founded as a Limited Liability Corporation in 2001 and is a full-service architectural firm focused on museum planning, exhibitions, and cultural facility development.


Herman Miller, Inc., the international home and office furnishing leader, has invited Springboard’s Paul Rosenblatt AIA to serve on their ‘Office Expert Panel.’

Paul Rosenblatt’s office design expertise dates back 22 years to his work on the the award-winning Jennifer Reed Showroom and Offices with Margaret Helfand Architects. This fashion headquarters recieved an AIA NYC Architectural Design Award, and was published in such magazines as Interiors and I.D. The late Ms. Helfand wrote that, “As Project Designer for the Jennifer Reed Showroom, Paul Rosenblatt carried major responsibility for developing all phases of the project.” Since then, Mr. Rosenblatt has designed many other offices and workplaces, including Springboard’s. In 2002, Springboard was retained as a design consultant to Herman Miller to explore new workplace systems and concepts.

Herman Miller’s website describes their mission as working “for a better world around you. We do this by designing furnishings and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Our curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services. These, along with our innovative business practices and a commitment to responsible leadership, have established us as an admired global company. ”

More information about Herman Miller, Inc. may be found at http://www.hermanmiller.com/About-Us.


AIGA Pittsburgh is featuring Springboard’s innovative workplace on its annual ‘[x]posed Studio Tour.’ AIGA’s mission, “to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force,” meshes well with Springboard’s activist, interdisciplinary focus.

On October 29, 2009, Springboard Design is opening its space up to the local design community as part of AIGA Pittsburgh’s annual ‘[x]posed  Studio Tour.’ Registration for the tour is limited to allow for more interactions between Springboard’s Leadership Team and visitors.  To sign up, visit the AIGA Pittsburgh Website at http://pittsburgh.aiga.org/registration/index.php?event_id=34734662.

John DeGore, a board member of AIGA Pittsburgh, has said that, “Through their involvement in the ‘[x]posed  Studio Tour,’ Springboard will be fulfilling one of AIGA Pittsburgh’s missions: demonstrating the value of design in our region. By [x]posing many of Pittsburgh’s unique design opportunities, young professionals will see that Pittsburgh can be the perfect place for them to live and work.”

From the AIGA Website: “AIGA, the professional association for design, is the place design professionals turn to first to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis and research and advance education and ethical practice. AIGA sets the national agenda for the role of design in its economic, social, political, cultural and creative contexts. AIGA is the oldest and largest membership association for professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing. Founded as the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1914 as a small, exclusive club, AIGA now represents more than 21,000 designers through national activities and local programs developed by more than 55 chapters and 200 student groups.”


Three weeks until the G-20 Summit. With so many visitors from around the world descending upon Pittsburgh for the upcoming G-20 Summit, I began to think of where I would send visitors to see the best works of architecture in Pittsburgh. What are the top works of Pittsburgh architecture? Most interesting and relevant? Pittsburgh is blessed with beautiful topography, real vibrant and distinctive neighborhoods, and a rich stock of beautiful, interesting and significant buildings.

If a visitor to Pittsburgh only has time to see five things what would they be? With such a limited time frame – maybe a day or two, or even just a morning – and such a short, short-list, the selections are necessarily subjective – but aren’t all ‘best of’ lists? So, if you are visiting Pittsburgh for the first time and are interested in architecture, what five buildings should you see? Here are my suggestions.  I broke my own rules – four buildings and a campus (sounds like the title of a film!) – but you get the idea. If you know Pittsburgh architecture, feel free to make alternative suggestions. With such a short list, and such a lot of great buildings to see, I know I’m leaving out some good ones!

1.    Fallingwater: Seminal American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s best house, just a short drive from Pittsburgh is a must see. Folks make pilgrimages from around the world throughout the year to visit Fallingwater and explore Wright’s artful integration of home and site. Furnished as it was lived in, it is a wonderful, immersive experience of what it might be like to live in a great house above a waterfall! For directions and hours visit the website, www.fallingwater.org.
2.    Giovanitti House: Pritzker Prize-winning Architect Richard Meier designed this little house about thirty years ago. Boy, that makes me feel old! Despite its age, the Giovanitti House is still a great example of his architectural vocabulary of the period, sort of updated Purism, ala Le Corbusier. The Giovanitti House is situated in a lively residential neighborhood close to the universities.  People live there, but you can see a lot from the road. http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/giovannitti/index.htm.
3.    Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail: American proto-modernist Architect H.H. Richardson’s robust jail and courthouse are easy to find downtown and worth the visit. The strength and clarity of Richardson’s battered stone walls anticipates modernism’s idealized simplicity, but here using the vocabulary of Romanesque architecture. Built in 1885, at the beginning of Pittsburgh’s population and development explosion as the center of the world’s steel industry, Richardson’s Courthouse is one of the best examples of this prolific architects many great works. http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/hhr.html.
4.    Children’s Museum Pittsburgh:  This multi-award-winning children’s museum exemplifies intelligent, green expansion and adaptive re-use of historic structures.  Springboard designed two of this interactive museum’s major environments, Waterplay http://www.springboarddesign.net/portfolio/museum/childrens-museum-of-pittsburgh-waterplay/ and The Nursery http://www.springboarddesign.net/portfolio/museum/nursery/.
5.    Carnegie Mellon University Campus: Laid out by Architect Henry Hornbostel, who also set the tone for the campus with his distinctive industrial/classical yellow brick edifices, Carnegie Mellon’s leading green buildings have updated Pittsburgh’s academic center. The most interesting campus buildings to visit include the new Gates Center for Computer Science – www.cmu.edu/corporate/partnerships/gates_center.shtml – and Springboard’s own Tartan’s Pavilion Café – http://www.springboarddesign.net/portfolio/educational/tartans-pavilion/.

With a little extra time, and an interest in Asian art, I would also recommend the Maridon Museum, Western Pennsylvania’s only museum dedicated to Asian art. Springboard designed this award-winning museum, re-using and uniting two existing structures on adjacent sites to create museum architecture that – like the collections within – explores past, present and future. http://www.springboarddesign.net/portfolio/museum/the-maridon-museum/

Enjoy – and let me know what you think!


Design and the Elastic Mind

At Springboard, we  like TED.com. So many ideas, so little time.  The great thing about TED is that you can experience an incredible range of creative thinkers up close and personal, online.

One of the most interesting recent presentations was given by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Curator Paola Antonelli on her exhibition ‘Design and the Elastic Mind.’ “Really good designers are like sponges,” she says. “They really are curious and absorb every kind of information that comes their way.”  For more, log onto TED.com or click here for Ms. Antonelli’s talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/paola_antonelli_previews_design_and_the_elastic_mind.html

Our design team’s minds are like sponges, too; we are very curious and have highly elastic minds!

Contact us and watch us stretch!


Fresh Fridays at Pittsburgh’s Northside Farmers’ Market is but one of many initiatives presented by the Charm Bracelet Project. You can find out more information about what, when, and where at www.deutschtown.org/news-events/farmers.html#freshfridays.

Springboard had a hand in organizing the Charm Bracelet Project. In October, 2006, Springboard’s Principal Paul Rosenblatt AIA was invited by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to serve as the projects’ Program Manager together with Children’s Museum Deputy Director Chris Siefert. The Charm Bracelet Project was conceived as an international urban design ideas program for improving connections between cultural assets on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

To achieve this goal, Program Managers Rosenblatt and Siefert along with Museum Director Jane Werner initiated a series of activities. The process began with a three-day long workshop that brought each of the selected design teams together with stakeholders and members of the community for an immersive introduction to the Northside’s ‘charms.’ Since then the Project has grown to include 17 cultural, recreational, and educational organizations from diverse sectors who meet on a regular basis for discussions of new ideas, and the implementation of existing ones. The Charm Bracelet Project has resulted in numerous neighborhood initiatives and continues to evolve.

For more information, click here: http://www.pittsburghkids.org/Templates/CMP_Level3_List.aspx?CID=565&SECID=5&MENUID=354.


In this week’s Pop City, Springboard’s Loft House is featured in an article entitled “Cool and Contemporary Pittsburgh Architecture.” Here is the link: http://www.popcitymedia.com/features/daringarch0805.aspx. The article focuses on what the writer describes as “a new breed of local architects’ who are ‘livening up the way Pittsburghers live….Lofts and light and green, green everywhere! Can contemporary, daring, idea-based architecture co-exist with traditional neighbors? As a matter of fact, it can.”

“When it comes to context,” writer Abby Mendelson continues, “Paul Rosenblatt’s Squirrel Hill Loft House looks any other 1,400-square-foot Douglas Street house, which is exactly how it began life. Arriving in 1988, the native New Yorker, and Yale-trained architect came to take a Carnegie Mellon teaching position, eventually creating his own firm called Springboard. Married to Amsterdam-native quilt artist Petra Fallaux and living in Squirrel Hill, they fell deeply in love with Pittsburgh.

By ’95 they bought a house but yearned for Downtown’s emerging lofts. They wanted the best of both worlds — Downtown living with Squirrel Hill’s tree-lined, walkable shopping district and coffee shops. “We had to figure out a way to get the space we needed,” Rosenblatt says. After all, there was his treasured vinyl record collection, her studio, and of course a Living Room and Master Bedroom worthy of the names. The brilliant-yet-oh-so-simple solution: “I built a 2,700-square-foot loft and attached it to the house,” Rosenblatt shrugs.

With its wood finishes, and towering views of his backyard greenery, the Loft House – column-free, all wood, with floor-to-ceiling windows — “showed city dwellers that you could have a loft in the middle of the city,” Rosenblatt smiles. “You can have your cake and eat it.”


This week’s Pop City Magazine features an article by Abby Mendelson entitled “How to Live Like a Millionaire: Live Here!”  According to Alan Van Dine, a former Pittsburgh advertising exec, Mr. Mendelson writes, “You can live like a millionaire on a middle class budget. In larger cities you have to spend much more money on housing, amenities, and eating out. Here? No such problem, he says.”

What does it mean to live like a millionaire on a middle class budget? Mr. Mendelson asked Springboard Principal Paul Rosenblatt. And this is what he wrote:

“Paul Rosenblatt, Principal with Springboard Design believes that living like a millionaire means “creating a life for yourself and your family that is not only about work, but also enables you to enjoy life and friends and family and fun and healthy activities. Living in Pittsburgh, costs are reasonable and standards are high, and we can get by on less than real millionaires elsewhere.”

Paul grew up and lived in New York City while his wife, Petra Fallaux, lived in Amsterdam. “We both knew what it was like to live in expensive, cramped, cosmopolitan towns. We had nice small apartments — mine was 450 square feet. I couldn’t imagine starting our life together in that tiny place on an architect’s salary, so we decided to move to Pittsburgh.
 
And when they entertain out-of-town visitors? “We are excited to welcome friends from Amsterdam here; they are amazed at how we live, how much space we have, how many things there are to do, what a great life you can have without being a true millionaire.”

For the whole story: http://www.popcitymedia.com/features/livemillionaire0729.aspx


Springboard is the architectural firm responsible for master planning the National Aviary’s $23 million expansion. Over Memorial Day weekend, the first phase of this plan was opened to the public.

Aviary entry landscaping_smallThe first phase of Springboard’s plans include the National Aviary’s new ‘Penguins Point’ and a dramatically renovated Main Hall. Attendance doubled last year’s Memorial Day weekend numbers as the public ‘flocked’ to see the National Aviary’s newest residents and dynamic new public space. The new $2.7 million immersive indoor/outdoor exhibit and renovated Main Hall featuring interactive touch-screens and other displays represents the first phase of Springboard’s National Aviary Master Plan to be implemented. The next phase, the $7 million ‘FliteZone Theater’ is scheduled to break ground this fall.