Ask any Pittsburgher which buildings most reflect the heart of this Middle America town, and chances are, he or she will name a sports arena. Few things are as close to Pittsburghers as their sports teams, and PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is no exception.
Over the last 9 years, PNC Park has become nationally known as one of the most intimate old-time baseball fields in the country. With panoramic views of Pittsburgh and its rivers, and the highest seating just 88 feet from the field, PNC Park has become a favorite of baseball commentators and hometown fans alike. That’s because when ASTORINO, a Pittsburgh-based firm, became architect-of-record to redesign PNC Park in the late 90s, the team, along with design firm HOK Sports, set out to design a facility that would “exude” Pittsburgh.
“Our vision for the project was simple,” said John Sysko, project architect, ASTORINO. “The park had to be clearly identifiable with Pittsburgh. We wanted to model the old-time feel of Forbes Field, with elements of industrial design – like an exposed steel frame, timeless materials and an intimate setting. And glass block was one of those products that just had that strength to it.”
Pittsburgh Corning’s 12x12 Decora® pattern glass block can be found all over the stadium (and all around town where you can see glass block reflecting the city’s industrial design history). ASTORINO found the product complimented the design of the park and delivered performance in multiple applications. You can find glass block emitting diffused light in store fronts, incorporating daylight around doorways and throughout the service and concourse levels, and delivering light and privacy for many of the large public bathrooms throughout the facility.
“It really was the perfect product,” said Sysko. “PNC Park faces every direction and glass block performed no matter where we installed it. It could deliver light without having to incorporate a shading strategy and we knew it would perform better than anything else we could have used. Decades from now, it will still be low maintenance, private, durable and graffiti resistant.”
Sysko also added that being a local product that was readily available was another important factor, “this was a fast-tracked, publicly-funded project that went up in about two years. Pittsburgh Corning manufactured in the U.S. and could meet all our demands.”
Visit www.astorino.com to view their other projects.