US green project gets Danish touch

The latest venture in spreading modern Danish design comes from Gehl Architects, part of a design consortium hired to transform the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A Danish architect firm, Gehl Architects, is among the members of RiverPac, a design consortium that has won the international Cultural Riverfront Development and Design Competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

At stake in the competition was the right to build the first sustainable, almost holistic-oriented, development settlement in the US. The DKK 2.7 trillion project will be Pittsburgh's largest downtown residential development to date.

The project plans to transform a huge 2.5 hectare piece of land adjacent to the Allegheny River into some 700 new apartments. Also on the drawing board for the project are several shops, office complexes and leisure centres.

Gehl Architects, known for their master planning and landscape architecture, plans to introduce a 'shared surface' concept with several pedestrian oriented roads winding through the development, intended to balance the dynamics between car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

The project will also focus on the balance of different types of dwellings, energy-saving buildings and amenities such as private gardens and semi-private roof-top terraces.

The client, Pittsburgh's Cultural Trust, is a non-profit organisation established in 1984 with the aim of leading the cultural and economic development of central Pittsburgh. Slated to begin in the summer of 2007, the project will be built in phases and take several years to complete, reported daily newspaper Politiken.

In addition to master planner Gehl Architects of Copenhagen, members of the design consortium include developer Concord Eastridge Inc. of Washington D.C and Phoenix, a design team headed by Behnisch Architekten in Stuttgart, as well as architects from Alliance of Toronto and WTW Architects of Pittsburgh.

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