About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

Latest Post

Strada Elevates Abby Mountain to Senior Associate

02.2018

Strada, an industry leader in cross-disciplinary design, is excited to announce the elevation of Abby Mountain to Senior Associate. “Abby has been instrumental to Strada’s growth and success since 2002, and we are thrilled to advance her to this important position,” said Al Cuteri, firm principal and human resources leader. Abby joined Strada nearly 16 ...

Read More >>

Offices

Pittsburgh

611 William Penn Place
Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

p: 412.263.3800
f: 412.471.5704

Get Directions

info@stradallc.com

Philadelphia

718 Arch Street
Suite 5N
Philadelphia, PA 19106

p: 215.440.0190
f: 215.440.0197

Get Directions

Street Talk

Fresh ideas about design

Filter by category
  • Firm news
  • Design
  • Places
  • Ideas
  • Building
  • People
Filter by year
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013

Strada’s Pittsburgh office is on the move

12.2014Design, Firm news, Ideas, Places, Uncategorized
By Melanie Sloan

strada office-575

Close Quarters
In 2002 when Strada first moved into its current space on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, there were fourteen people and space was ample. That same space now holds 31 people and growing. A studio that once embodied the open-air feel of a lofty workspace now more closely resembles a “studio apartment,” in which every function takes place within the same small area. Growth is good, and though the Strada culture continues to flourish in these close quarters, everyone is eager to spread out in our new space this December.

Historic Building
The distance from the current office to our new digs on Sixth Avenue is a slight .2 miles, yet the difference between them is great. Our new office will be located in an old building, historic, in fact. The 410-foot-tall skyscraper, formerly known as the Alcoa Building, was completed in 1953 and retains a number of unique elements of historic value.

Renovating within an existing building is interesting, because every existing structure has its own oddities and remnants of the functions it has served previously. Space planning is like a game and every building has its own rules—the window placement, column grid, water walls, etc.—must be plied off one another to create a new environment that is programmatically functional to the new users. From the beginning, our concept was to connect the mid-century modern roots of this historic building to the exposed, open-office mentality of today.

The mid-century modern Alcoa Building soon will house our new Pittsburgh studio.

The mid-century modern Alcoa Building soon will house our new Pittsburgh studio.

Lobby_575

Being the Client
They like to say that doctors make the worst patients, and the idiom seems true for designers as well. As trying as it may be, though, stepping into the client’s shoes for our own workspace has been a great reminder of the client experience. In the beginning we dreamt big; like custom woodwork, nanawall, beer-fridge big. We held an office-wide charrette and employed our own Placemapping process to gather and organize our collective goals and expectations for the new design. There were meetings with the partners, focus groups, and one-on-one meetings to resolve specific, technical details.

Applying our process of Placemapping to our new space

Applying our process of PlaceMapping to our new space

We spent a lot of time on the program, playing the space game to determine which area was better for the kitchen versus the conference room, etc. We modeled numerous iterations of the space and ordered numerous material samples; we wanted to see it all. We also collected information on our own habits to determine how and where we actually did our work.

Were we digital and mobile? If so, we could have desk hoteling and focus on developing a great variety of spaces where laptop users could touchdown and work for a while. Or maybe our field was simply too tangible to live only in the digital realm. We would need places to store our drawings and samples, and seats near those things we referenced regularly.

What kind of collaborative were we? Did we hold long, group discussions? We could minimize personal space in favor of large, highly flexible areas for brainstorming; places where we could pin up sketches, share a monitor, or spread out a full-size set of drawings for review. Or perhaps our collaborations were numerous but brief, solution-focused discussions at someone’s desk.

After reading articles on collaborative office design and evaluating our existing work patterns, we were able to strike a balance between personal, collaborative, and public spaces.

12020 Alcoa HQ Current Plan _ 8

Like most clients, we found that our big dreams have big price tags. So, like most clients, we went through a VE process. The end result is an extensive open studio with adjacent collaborative areas, a scattering of small rooms for conference calls or brief meetings, and a large, flexible conference room for extended meetings. The kitchen itself is galley style with an island, but with enough tables and chairs to seat the entire office for our lunch-and-learn presentations and occasional holiday group-meals. The nanawalls were replaced with sliding doors and the custom woodwork gave way to furniture pieces, but the beer-fridge made the cut!

strada rendering_crop_575

Melanie Sloan is an interior and graphic designer at Strada. She worked on the team charged with designing the renovation with colleague Monika Gibson and many, many others.

Strada Elevates Abby Mountain to Senior Associate

02.2018Firm news, People
By Street Talk Editor

Strada, an industry leader in cross-disciplinary design, is excited to announce the elevation of Abby Mountain to Senior Associate. “Abby has been instrumental to Strada’s growth and success since 2002, and we are thrilled to advance her to this important position,” said Al Cuteri, firm principal and human resources leader. Abby joined Strada nearly 16 ...
Read more >>

The Craft of Story Building

02.2018Design, Ideas, Places
By Mason Radkoff, CSI/CCCA, LEED AP BD+C

A story’s form should be organic— the moves it makes, the shape it takes. Initial visions of setting, theme, voice, and plot emerge as the writer intuits what the story needs without the anchor of minutia holding things back. Art is made.
Read more >>