Location: Sewickley, Pennsylvania Architect: studio d'ARC Architects Builder: Dick Building Company
This residence includes a barn restoration, a steel tower and platform within an existing terra cotta silo, and a new house that features bush-hammered white cement concrete walls, galvanized steel framing, and finished glue laminated timber.
A significant challenge for the project was to create the appropriate level of finish on the architecturally exposed concrete. Through numerous meetings, mixes, and mock-ups, the design and construction team settled on a concrete that rendered a vivid contrast with the aggregate, had the workability to be pumped in place, and met the requirements for structural retaining walls.
The congregation of Temple Emanuel expanded its facility to include a classroom wing and a new chapel. The classrooms provide an animated space for education and the chapel creates an intimate counter-balance to their grand existing sanctuary. The project consisted of two steel-framed additions.
The classroom wing features a sloping masonry wall which begins an arc that carries through to the curved wall and street facade of the chapel. The chapel is a building with a challenging geometry and a curving skin. Pairs of concrete monoliths step up to support the dramatic cantilever of the roof.
Konefal & Company, Inc. began work with the architect during their preliminary sketch phase to investigate roof shapes and forms for the chapel. We enjoy this type of conceptual study because we develop an insight into the underlying architectural principles of a project and can apply them to the design and detailing of the entire structure.
Petersburg Community Bank
Location: Petersburg, Virginia Architect: The Yellow Room, Inc. Builder: Haase Inc.
This adaptive reuse of a former bank building transformed an empty office structure into a residential apartments in downtown Petersburg. The structure is comprised of stout masonry bearing walls with steel beams and cast-in-place concrete floors.
At the double height top floor, we designed a new mezzanine with cold formed steel to create penthouse apartments that take advantage of the arched windows. This involved analysis of the existing vintage steel shapes and connections. New elevators, stair modifications, exterior egress stairs, and entry stonework were included in a tossed salad of structural scope. This mixture of tasks is typical in an adaptive re-use and an essential part of the recovery of a downtown.
The 38,000 square foot Fred Rogers Center stands at the entrance to St. Vincent College and provides space for the archives of Fred Rogers and the artifacts from the beloved children’s television program, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The building is also a conference center and gallery.
St. Vincent College is an institution with a vision for the long term and with this in mind the building was constructed to be durable and have minimal impact on the environment. To contribute to these goals we designed the concrete walls to be placed using insulated concrete forms.
Because the underlying rock sloped across the site, foundations are a hybrid of shallow spread footings and drilled piers. The floor system uses steel girders and columns to support hollow core concrete planks that integrate the radiant heating system within the concrete topping. The roof system uses typical metal-plate-connected wood trusses to create an atypical roof shape.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Builder: Jendoco Construction Corporation
The new Campus Center at the Winchester Thurston School was designed to expand the school’s suburban campus north of Pittsburgh. Its 5,600 square feet of instructional space includes art and music classrooms and a multipurpose room for dance, physical education, lunch, and school performances.
We designed steel framing with slender bracing create the light-filled, double-height the art room. For the roof framing we used typical metal-plate-connected wood roof trusses, but doubled up, painted white, and spaced at 4 feet. Insulating roof panels span over the trusses and create a sweeping roof form that compliments the earlier campus buildings, also designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
This new canopy and parking deck was constructed over an existing surface lot. The structure is a precast concrete double-tee system supported by cast-in-place columns and deep auger-cast pier foundations. These pier go down to the base of the abandoned coal mine under the site.
Concrete beams at grade cantilever over the piers so that columns could be placed at the edges of the lower level parking area.
To emphasize the stair, we designed a canopy supported by steel ‘trees,’ created by three planar frames.
Chatham University’s original 1950s gymnasium was reborn as the home of the school’s Arts and Design division. This adaptive reuse involved a new mezzanine level constructed with minimal disturbance to the original wood gymnasium floor below.
The structure is an exposed steel frame with a concrete slab poured over steel deck. Working collaboratively with the architect with a lot of pencil and trace, we detailed exposed steel angles which grasp a glass handrail barrier at the mezzanine edge. This fast track project was recognized with a Certificate of Merit from the Pittsburgh AIA.
With 33-feet clear between the lobby and the floor above, the architect wanted to find an inventive way to lend support to the curtain wall. Our goal was to create a system of trusses that would energize the space.
We went through several iterations of design with the architect to arrive at a form for the trusses. The lateral bracing and web members in tension were coordinated using a stainless steel system of rods and fittings. The steel for the trusses was finished with a powder coat.
This project won the 2003 Pittsburgh AIA’s Award of Excellence in the category of Architectural Detail. The jury commented: “…The scale of the detail and the size of the pieces are handled very elegantly. It is not heavy handed and does not call too much attention to itself and yet it is a distinctive feature of the building’s expression.”
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh decided to build library with a layout that would be accessible on one level. The new 15,500 square foot building was constructed on a vacant lot in an urban context. The library serves the neighborhood with a historic collection, a children’s reading room, and career resources.
Konefal & Company, Inc. designed the roof structure using open-web steel joists and structural steel - interspersed with skylights. Interior steel columns and reinforced masonry walls support the roof and interstitial mechanical space.
The interior space of features a glu-lam and wood-framed roof monitor. The exterior is clad with a limestone rainscreen. There is some drama where our structural frames carry sloping stone that leans over the sidewalk and slopes over the children’s terrace.
In recognition of “a robust civic presence” and “a successful reference to the scale of neighboring buildings,” this project was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the AIA Pittsburgh.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Architect: 4080 Architecture Builder: Sota Construction Services
Pittsburgh’s independent public radio station, WYEP, had outgrown its facilities and constructed a new building with more space for offices, expanded studios, and live performance. The result is a building situated in a vibrant urban community.
The building has two levels of steel-framed floor and a lower-level parking deck. The foundation retaining walls walls are reinforced concrete and the foundation is a system of concrete grade beams supported by auger-cast concrete piles which extend through alluvial soil to a depth of 70 feet.
The exterior materials of brick and corrugated metal give reference to the light industrial character of the neighborhood, but belie the tightly insulated envelope.
Three buildings from about 1900 had been standing vacant for decades before the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation had the opportunity to develop the properties. This restoration and adaptive reuse created new retail, commercial, and residential space in the heart of Pittsburgh’s downtown.
In one building, leaks in the wood-framed roof led to a cycle of decay and collapse of the four floors below. Previous renovations left the masonry party walls a patchwork of brick, block, and openings.
Konefal & Company, Inc. evaluated the existing floor structure to determine what could remain in place. We developed a new wood floor and roof system which could be installed with minimal pocketing into the masonry walls.
Where the facade was found to be separating from the party walls, we devised a system of rods and plates to reconnect the two. Most important, we were available throughout the demolition and construction phase as new issues were discovered, evaluated, and solved.
Location: Sewickley, Pennsylvania Architect: Edge Studio
With open plans, open stairs, and open ceilings, the units were meant to attract buyers interested in loft-style living in a dense established neighborhood. The building form reflects the rhythm of the streetscape, and the materials lend the sense of integrity and permanence.
The foundation was constructed in reinforced concrete using insulated forms and the superstructure is a system of metal-plate-connected wood floor trusses and manufactured wood beams.
This facility was built by the Allegheny County Housing Authority to serve the residential community of Hays Manor. On a single level, the masonry bearing wall structure includes classrooms, offices, computer rooms, a kitchen, and a multi-purpose room.
The roof is framed with metal-plate-connected wood roof trusses around the central multi-purpose room. The central space features custom heavy timber wood trusses and an insulated wood panel roof. The timber trusses feature steel connection plates ‘let into’ the timbers and accentuated with color.
The Pittsburgh Glass Center is thriving in what was a vacant building. It is the only comprehensive glass art studio in the region and breathes new life into the tradition of glass making in Pittsburgh.
The project involved the evaluation of the existing 16,000 square foot structure and the design of a new 2,500 square foot steel-framed addition. The original building has masonry bearing walls and a system of concrete and steel girders. The addition is an exposed steel frame which creates the entry and circulation space.
A driving idea was to create a “Gold” LEED™ certified building. To this end, our collaboration continued beyond the primary structure as we developed a secondary structural system to support a facade of salvaged corrugated glass. Our effort on this project was an extension of our company’s commitment to sustainable design and helped this project receive an Honor Award from the Pittsburgh AIA.
Location: Butler, Pennsylvania Architect: Springboard Architecture Communication Design LLC
A Butler County philanthropist commissioned a museum to serve as a space to share her collection of jade, porcelain, and ivory. The new museum is a synthesis of an existing wood-framed house, used for office space, and a concrete block showroom, which creates the gallery.
The buildings are linked with a new atrium/circulation space. We designed a system of king-post roof trusses with powder-coated carbon steel and stainless steel tension rods. Classroom space was created in a new masonry and steel-joist addition, and the showroom was expanded with a new curving masonry wall.