2011 Home of the Year Honorable Mention: Downtown Condominium

Wood in dark tones, like the dark cherry cabinetry in the kitchen, provides contrast with the stone and glass countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Wood window seats along the perimeter provide storage and seating.



Photo by Elliott Cramer for Denmarsh Photography

In a year when the down-turned economy has taken a toll on the architecture and design professions, we have found something to celebrate: the winners of Pittsburgh magazine´s second-annual Home of the Year contest.

Our friends at AIA Columbus, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, graciously provided their expertise to judge our competition. The panel consisted of Jonathan Barnes, AIA, of Jonathan Barnes Architecture + Design; and Michael Bongiorno, AIA, of Design Group. Judging was coordinated by Gwen Berlekamp, executive director of AIA Columbus.
 

Honorable Mention

Winner: Downtown Condominium
Best Condo Under $500,000: MCAI, Mary Cerrone
Architect: Mary Cerrone, AIA (Building Shell: Indovina Associates)
Builder: Mistick Construction
Interior Design: Mary Cerrone, AIA
Decorator: Michele Henry
Kitchen Supplier: Manor House Kitchens
 

When Mary Cerrone first saw this condominium on one of the upper floors of downtown’s 151 First Side, it was still just a shell—an expansive space that was rather nondescript.

But the huge south-facing windows revealed spectacular panoramic views of the Monongahela River, including several bridges and the sparkling lights of Station Square.

“Our challenge was to create a series of defined but interconnected spaces that made the most of these tremendous views and abundant natural light while maintaining a distinction between public and private domain,” Cerrone explains.

The property owner, a bachelor who travels frequently, wanted to keep the space fairly open, so Cerrone designed the L-shaped living space, anchored by the kitchen, to flow freely while taking advantage of the terrific views.

“We saw a variety of clean, minimalist details consistent with an urban-loft aesthetic,” the judges explain. “We appreciated the fact that the design takes advantage of the excellent views.”

The owner also had very distinct taste in terms of the materials and color palate that he wanted to use in his home, notes Cerrone.

“He seemed to be interested in glass,” she says. So Cerrone incorporated a variety of glass elements throughout the design, including a glass bar top, a painted-glass backsplash in the kitchen, an etched-glass panel that hangs on a wall in the bedroom and glass tile in the bathrooms.

Wood in dark tones, like the dark cherry cabinetry in the kitchen, provides contrast with the stone and glass countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Wood window seats along the perimeter provide storage and seating.

A range of stained- and painted-wood finishes as well as contrasting light and dark wall colors bring warmth and allow for play between warm wood tones and the shiny surfaces of the glass.

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