A $500 masterplan has been unveilled that will revitalise the site of Pittsburgh’s former Civic Arena.

Pittsburgh Hill District
Pittsburgh Hill District

A $500m masterplan has been unveiled that will revitalise the site of Pittsburgh’s former Civic Arena, tying together the downtown area and the Hill District.

The 11ha scheme in the city’s Lower Hill district, includes 1,200 housing units, 1million sq ft  of retail and commerce, and open parkland and public spaces, including a new public space opposite the Consol Energy Center. It is a collaboration between Danish architect BIG, West 8 (landscape) and Atelier Ten (sustainability).

The existing street grid has been replaced with a network of parks and paths that work with the contours of the sloping site, finding the most gentle climbs. Streets, crosswalks and a weaving pattern of footpaths encourage an active public life and efficient flow of traffic, bicycles and pedestrians. Granite outcrops that punctuate the site are a reference to the landscape of the wider Allegheny Valley.

Buildings will be stepped and incorporate green roof terraces, responding to the sloping site, increasing outdoor space and capitalising on the unique views across the city.

Jamie Maslyn, a partner at Landscape Architect West 8, said: ‘The site, with its slopes and views, is perfectly suited for bringing an experience of the native landscape to this urban condition. The design creates a new open space identity but 
more importantly gives neighbours and visitors the sensations of nature in the heart of the city.’

To improve the site’s sustainability, Atelier Ten has investigated district scaled heating and cooling opportunities, and rainwater storage for irrigation.

The project aims to attract future investment to the area and reverse the trend for vacating properties.

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