In the summer of 2016, PROJECT RE_ was invited to collaborate on The Heinz Endowments' community meeting space renovation, focusing on a 13' long, 8'-6" high entrance wall and reception desk. One of the goals of the project was to demonstrate RE_'s capacity through design and construction. In partnership with the UDBS, Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP), and Cosntruction Junction (CJ), PROJECT RE_ features workshops for wood, metal, masonry, and digital fabrication.
As a part of the mission, underprivileged members of the community are given the opportunity to become welding apprentices and, ultimately, certified welders. After 6 months of training, working on various weld types and joints, numerous steel blanks are amassed and typically melted down to forge new steel. The Heinz Endowments entrance wall presented an opportunity to freeze a moment of this workshop in a community setting that could shed light on RE_'s story. The wall, which weighs approximately 3,200 pounds, is anchored to the concrete slab on the EQT Building's 31st floor and floor beam above. Using a modified z-clip system, the steel blanks were welded to a series of 2-3 foot long steel angles at PROJECT RE_, delivered to site, and hung in the space downtown.
The reception desk is made of reclaimed joists from a deconstructed building in Uniontown, PA, and overstock limestone from a local construction site. Built by a master carpenter and a carpentry apprentice from TIP, the waxed lumber wraps a chiseled stone face.
The Heinz Endowments
Trade Institute of Pittsburgh
John Folan, UDBS Director
J William Gott, UDBS Fellow
Aaron Beatty, TIP Welding Instructor
M. J. Electric