The site for the Collaborative Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, is a former surface parking lot at the edge of campus. There is a 60-foot drop from the campus level down to the level of the railroad line below.
A not-for-profit development organization partnered with the university on a speculative development project. One of the project's purposes was to provide space for research-oriented organizations to be close to the university's researchers — to promote commercialization of research and exchange of knowledge. Another purpose was to provide flexible space for departmental offices and a long-distance teleconferencing facility.
Tenant space totaling 136,000 square feet was placed on top of a 238-car parking garage. The space was mandated to be designed for tenants who work primarily in open landscape workstations in collaborative environments, which invite informal interaction among occupants. It was to allow easy adaptability in layout, flexibility and optimal workstation densities.
To maximize the building footprint and rentable square footage, three rectangular blocks of space are arranged around a building core. The depth of the blocks of space is optimal for a variety of office and dry lab layouts. A 30,000-square-foot footprint was achieved.
The architect is dggp Architecture (Pittsburgh).