Our Perkins Eastman

Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio: A Case Study

Pittsburgh, PA

This bright and open free-address workspace is a new model for companies exploring a hybrid, work-from-anywhere approach in the post-pandemic world.

Perkins Eastman’s new LEED Gold-certified Pittsburgh studio rethinks the traditional ‘workpoint’ in favor of flexibility and freedom of choice. Located on the 25th floor of 525 William Penn Place, a Harrison & Abramovitz-designed mid-century tower in downtown Pittsburgh, the design leverages the space’s greatest asset—daylight and views. It anchors the layout to the perimeter windows to foster openness and transparency.

Project Facts

  • Client:

  • Perkins Eastman
  • Size:

  • 11,900 sq. ft.
  • Sustainable Design:

  • LEED Gold v4
  • Services:

  • Interior Design, Sustainability
  • Markets:

  • Workplace
  • Region:

  • United States
  • Studios:

  • Pittsburgh
    Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio 2

    This efficient space realizes a 34-percent reduction in embodied carbon when compared to workspaces of similar size and focus. We’ve achieved this reduction through minimal interventions, constructing walls only where necessary, subtracting extraneous elements such as bulkheads and drywall, and sourcing from local vendors and manufacturers to eliminate emissions caused by lengthy transportation. The materials we chose, furthermore, were vetted for the health of their contents and the transparency of their manufacturing process.

    Designs for the space pivoted early in the COVID-19 pandemic when Perkins Eastman shifted to remote work during quarantine. Predicting that post-pandemic, a percentage of employees would continue to work remotely some of the time, our designers reduced the number of traditional assigned desks by over half. Instead, a variety of seating postures—counter seating, high-top tables, couches, booths, the kitchen table—combine with supporting amenities like lockers, ample outlets, and adjustable lighting to promote an individualized approach to purpose-driven work.

    Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio 15 Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio 10

    Putting process on display fosters transparency and energizes the workspace. The Maker Box, prominently located adjacent to the main entrance, is a studio within a studio. Here, work tools take center stage in the form of model-making materials, a 3-D printer, and a virtual reality station. Similarly, the materials workshop provide ample space for creative work with long, wide countertops, floor-to-ceiling shelving, and commercial bakery racks-turned-materials trays.

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    “Each day, our seats are first-come, first-served. A firm-wide executive director could be sitting next to a summer intern. We welcome these types of relationships because we believe it makes our enterprise better.” – Jeff Young, AIA

    Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio 5

    The Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh studio is meant to be a prototype for the global firm—a compass and guide for the firm’s evolving workplace strategies. The inherent flexibility of these spaces allow for minimal environmental impact and responsive adjustments over a rapidly-changing and uncertain new era of workplace practices.

    The entrance to Perkins Eastman's Pittsburgh studio features bold and playful signage and bright, welcoming space.
    The entrance to Perkins Eastman's Pittsburgh studio features bold and playful signage and bright, welcoming space.

    “Being together in the space creates opportunities for unanticipated collaboration and mentorship that push forward the work and the services we provide.” – Lee Pellegrino, AIA, WELL AP

    Perkins Eastman Pittsburgh Studio 4