Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos
The Carnegie Museum of Art’s new exhibit features the works of architect Arthur Lubetz and Front Studio, including the vibrant Glass Lofts Building in Garfield.
photos by Sam Champ via Flickr creative commons
With its asymmetric, blocky shape and distinct lime green color, it’s hard not to notice the modern Glass Lofts building when driving through the Penn Avenue Arts District area of Garfield.
The tilting mixed-use building — which houses condominiums, office space, a yoga studio and a Primanti Bros. restaurant — is just one of the standout structures designed by Pittsburgh native, and noted architect, Arthur Lubetz with Front Studio, the focus of an exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
In “Action, Ideas, Architecture: Arthur Lubetz/Front Studio,” running through May 22, viewers will see how Lubetz’s designs often incorporate bold colors, distinctive geometries and unconventional approaches to designing spaces — and the condos at the Glass Lofts are no different.
The exterior of the unique residences, which are located across the street from the Pittsburgh Glass Center, combines flat roofs with sloping ones. By demonstrating creativity, Lubetz hoped to inspire residents to view their personal spaces as blank canvases, according to the Glass Lofts website.
Once inside, the condos feature soaring high ceilings, open floor plans, wood and drywall interior walls and concrete floors.
The two-story Select Lofts also have skylights, metal or concrete ceilings with exposed ductwork and pipes. Large, glass, garage-style doors lead to the covered or open terraces.
Some of Lubetz’s other recognizable designs around Pittsburgh include the sliced and stacked boxes that make up the Sharpsburg Community Library and the angular, copper-clad Ellsworth Center II in Shadyside.
Lubetz, a longtime adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has an architecture background spanning 50 years. Close to a decade ago, he joined with Front Studio, a New York–based firm that was founded by two of his former CMU students.
The exhibition features an architect-designed intervention with models, drawings and photography on loan from the Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives, Front Studio and other lenders. Charles L. Rosenblum curated the project.
You can also catch Lubetz in person later this week. The architect will lead a free talk titled “Why Art?” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Heinz Architectural Center galleries.
Throughout the event, Lubetz will explore architecture from multiple points of view. A reception follows the talk, with the exhibition staying open until 9 p.m.
For more details, visit cmoa.org/exhibition/arthur-lubetz.