Pittsburgh, PA

At Hartwell, shoppers take an architectural journey, spatially modulated by natural light, that reflects on Pittsburgh’s heroic industrial past. From the sidewalk, passersby are afforded glimpses up the stairway’s sky-lit passageway leading to the central rotunda-space, where a romantic ruin is collaged with expressive modernist elements.


Alternatively, visitors may choose to ascend to the upper spaces by elevator and enjoy dynamic views framed by the steel tower enclosure and cross the court on a mini steel bridge.

The shopping experience is further enlivened by artworks that have been conceived integrally with the architecture. A painted mural soars vertically with the elevator and a sculptural metal frieze-work wraps around the drum-space, continuing the narratives of rivers and heroic industry. Care has been given to transition details where iron-spot brick meets an expansive wall of steel sash ‘day-lighting’ windows. Structural glass prisms are recessed into articulated concrete floors at the base of the light court to coax natural light to lower levels.

Hartwell anchors one end of Walnut Street, Pittsburgh’s favorite boutique-shopping street in the Shadyside District, and boasts a nationally top-grossing store.

CLIENT: The Hillman Company

PROJECT TEAM: Design Architect: Peter Matthews; Schematic Design with Kevin Kennon; Architect of Record: John Martine.

ARTISTS: Mural paintings: Wm. Hillman; Metal frieze sculpture: Jeffrey Maron

AREA: 28,000 sf

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