Springboard Design

In The News

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.”

Springboard’s Museum Architecture Team (M.A.T.) won a commission to design a new Railroad Museum and Festival Hall in Elkins, West Virginia. Winning over eight other multi-disciplinary teams, Springboard’s partners include Overton & Associates (Design/Build), R.W.Larson Associates (Architecture), and  Schultz & Williams (Market Feasibility/Fundraising).

This Randolph County Development Authority project will be composed of a multi-use complex located on the site of the historic Western Maryland Railroad Roundhouse and will be connected to a 100 mile long, state-owned railroad line. The Mountain State Forest Festival will host its annual festival in a new related Festival Hall that will be designed to attract trade shows and conventions to Elkins.

The  Conceptual Design and Project Feasibility process begins in June, 2009, and will be completed by September.

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.