AIA, NCARB, and Debbie Battistone designed their new
2,400-square-foot (223-m2) residence and office for their company,
studio d'ARC, as a reinterpretation of the traditional Pittsburgh
rowhouse. Located within a dense urban neighborhood in Pittsburgh's
South Side, the house is in an area known for steel mills, glass
foundries and industrial structures, according to Damiani.
"We were very interested in building near the old Duquesne
Brewery," Damiani said. "This area is very interesting because it
has a large-scale industrial building alongside of a number of row
Built between two 19th century townhomes, the residence
incorporates an open floor plan that includes a kitchen, dining and
living area on the first floor and a dramatic two-story skylit
volume that connects visually to the open studio on the second
floor. A glass and steel bridge connects the studio to the bedroom
and bath on the second floor. A remote-controlled skylight over the
dining space allows for abundant lighting during the day, in
addition to thermal cooling.
The interior is a combination of maple floors, cabinets and
windows; exposed concrete block; drywall; and exposed steel. The
exterior features steel, mahogany and asphalt shingles to connect
to the surrounding residential and industrial neighborhood.
"We selected metal
on the exterior to create a dialogue with the neighboring brewery
loading facility located directly across the street," Damiani said.
"Also, from our sidewalk, you can see the USX tower, formerly the
U.S. Steel Tower (a building clad exclusively in COR-TEN), located
in downtown Pittsburgh."
The steel siding was created from 400 square feet (37 m2) of 2 2/3-
by 1/2-inch (68- by 13-mm) COR-TEN corrugated weathered steel from
Corrugated Metals Inc., Belvidere, Ill. The rooftop vestibule is
clad with 180 square feet (17 m2) of Galvalume Thin Seam metal roof
panels installed vertically from Fabral, Lancaster, Pa. The back
elevation has some Galvalume trims, downspouts and gutters. COR-TEN
steel plate was used for window and door extensions, as well as to
create a fireplace enclosure in the rear garden. A W-section of
COR-TEN also was used in the rear garden to create a log
The home also features an Asian-inspired garden that can be
accessed directly from the open living room and an upper level roof
terrace that provides dramatic views of the city. All these
features combined to help Damiani and Battistone bring new meaning
to what used to be Pittsburgh tradition.
-Award: 2008 AIA Housing Award for One and Two Family Custom
-Architect: studio D'ARC architects PC, Pittsburgh,
-General contractor: studio d'ARC architects, along with Smith
Construction, Gibsonia, Pa.
-Steel fabricator: Keystone Metals Inc., Pittsburgh
-Steel siding: Corrugated Metals Inc., Belvidere, Ill.,
-Roofing: Fabral, Lancaster, Pa., www.fabral.com
www.fabral.com; www.corrugated-metals.com; www.sdapgh.com