Crash Dump

Epic Metals Competition
Third Year, Spring 2014

As one of Pittsburgh's most historically layered and culturally diverse neighborhoods, the Strip District provides the opportunity for the development of a new public square that promotes a sense of community and common space.  Crash Dump uses both EPIC Architectural & Sun Screen perforated metal deck and light as fundamental materials to shape an experience that illuminates the communal potential of the Strip District.  The tension between the solidity and concreteness inherent in qualities of built structures and the intangibility and transient qualities of light and shadow creates space that is unique to the time of day, season, and activity of habitation.  The folds and geometry of the planes are informed by the sun angles from Pittsburgh's summer and winter solstice, reflecting sunlight to both condense it within the boundaries of the structure and project it outwards onto the Allegheny River.  At night, Crash Dump externalizes light through the use of high-powered white LEDs. Exploration and circulation in and around the folly serve to interrupt the streams of light by casting shadows through the structure and finally projecting them onto the surface of the water, narrating the interplay between the architecture and the community.  The dynamic, interactive play of light on the river’s rippling surface refocuses the community on the waterfront after years of being separated by a parking lot and provides as a dynamic, exciting meeting place to serve the community as a symbol of the Strip District’s vitality and energy and its relationship to the Allegheny river.

Collaboration with Clara Lee