Master Plans

Renovating the Legacy Academic Building

University of Pittsburgh Science Modernization Offers Larger Labs while Preserving Historic Façade

Published 3-7-2018

What the university needs: A spacious, modern science building, with an additional 5,000 sf. What the university has: An old, dark, rather cramped classroom building, built for a different era in education, with inadequate systems, and no room to expand. It’s a common problem on university campuses, and in many cases solving it requires flexibility, creativity, and patience. At the University of Pittsburgh, Howard Skoke, AIA, of EwingCole Architects and Engineers and the university’s own Ilona Beresford worked together on a six-month master plan to devise a $65 million modernization. The project, scheduled to begin construction in May 2019, will open the building to new uses and adapt its systems for health and efficiency. At the same time, it will preserve a historic exterior and cost far less than a new building.

Bringing Real-Time Interactivity to Campus Master Planning

Strategies for Developing a “Living” Master Plan

Published 2-21-2018

A traditional master plan process runs the risk of being an exercise in futility if the result is a document that sits on a shelf and becomes quickly outdated. This often happens because an institution does not know how to convert existing data into meaningful information that can guide discussions and decision-making related to facilities and campus development. Pairing the intelligent use of available data with design processes that engage individual users and stakeholders’ perspectives can be a game-changer. This combination—what we refer to as a “living” master plan—can tell a more accurate story and become a better and more refined decision-support tool than an obsolete master plan or a one-time data analysis report, and can provide value based on real-time data long after the plan is “completed.”