Glass Act

Condo living gets a window seat to the unexpected at the Glass Lofts in Garfield.

Architect Arthur Lubetz made many bold choices when designing the Glass Lofts. He chose an eye-popping shade of green for portions of the exterior. He built walls at unexpected angles and combined flat roofs with sloping ones. But his boldest choice was what he did not do: In collaboration with local artists and community members who helped plan this new complex, Lubetz deliberately left parts of the interior and exterior unfinished.

“How the building is constructed is hanging out there for everybody to see,” he says. And inside the condo units, “we didn’t build the second bedroom and two of the closets, and that was purposeful.”

Condo units at the multiuse Glass Lofts complex “are very flexible and adaptable,” he explains. “And with the natural materials, the plywood walls and concrete floor, anything can go on top of them or around them. If I were younger, I’d buy one and live there.”

This blank canvas allows each person who buys a unit to personalize their home—something many homeowners want but few get unless they’re designing and building a new home themselves, Lubetz says.
But once a homeowner has that freedom, what should they do with it?

We asked the pros at Weisshouse, including designers Stan Adamik and Ron Reinheimer, to decorate an empty Glass Lofts unit. Adamik and Reinheimer loved the challenge of turning “an industrial environment into a warm place to call home,” and they shared some wisdom that can help any homeowner tackle a neutral, undeveloped space:

Bring the outside in. “We started our color inspiration with the bright green color of the balcony wall, which is very visible inside the living space due to the two huge glass garage doors. We wanted the balcony to feel like an extension of the interior space when the doors were up, so we used the same color palette and made it a bit more fun with the pop-art styled flower table and apple-green ‘S’ chairs that can stay outside year-round.”

Think big and bold. Large, graphic artwork; an oversized sofa; and a tall sideboard all worked wonderfully in the Glass Lofts space. And “the concrete floors were warmed up with beautiful rugs, including a turquoise overdyed rug from Turkey and a hand-knotted Tufenkian Tibetan rug,” he says.

Play with textures and colors. “We picked a beautiful glass dining table by Cassina to ensure a light and airy feel,” Reinheimer says. “The black-leather Cab chairs offer a very comfortable dining experience and only [look better] with age and wear. We used more glass with the coffee table in the living room space—this time in black with a gorgeous Calvin Klein piece. [It’s] clean, ultra simple and a great backdrop for the colorful vintage pottery vase and flowers.  We also picked a great sculptural-shaped chair in a vibrant green for a bit of ‘wow’ factor.”

Mix masculine and feminine design. In the bedroom, “a modern Scribe desk from Mitchell Gold/Bob Williams is the focal point. It was paired with a white-leather desk chair on wheels,” Reinheimer says. “For the bed, we decided on a large, simple white slip-covered headboard. The bedside lamps are vintage—a bit quirky and unexpected. For a shot of color, we liked the patchwork area rug [that’s] also from Turkey. We wanted a nice mix of masculine and feminine.”
 

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.