The New Frick Environmental Center Hits All The Marks

SEP 21, 2016 

Pittsburgh City Paper

As you approach the new Frick Environmental Center from its historic entry gatehouses on Beechwood Boulevard, in Squirrel Hill, three paths lead to the fountain about 100 yards away that is part of that original landscape. One curves to your left, past the parking lots, where solar arrays generate power for the building and guide rainwater into catchment basins for reuse. Another path goes straight to the historic fountain, which is re-engineered to use just a mist of water rather than the traditional but wasteful vertical spout. The third path curves to the right, past the outdoor amphitheater and into the building itself, a 15,500-square-foot structure, designed by BCJ Architects and built by contractors P.J. Dick.

The $19 million building and landscape project is owned by the city and operated by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, primarily as education and support spaces for school groups and the public. Having three linked but different paths, each with its own lessons, is emblematic of the building as a whole, which can be considered highly successful from a number of seemingly separate but ultimately unified perspectives... Read the full article