928 South Aiken Avenue
Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA
Architect, Eric Fisher AIA, LEED AP, was architect and contractor of this Shadyside house, designed for his wife, Mary, and himself. Their neighbors say they like the house because it is set well back from the rear property line, creating a new green urban court shared by all. Patinated copper walls and a double walled polycarbonate panel system float above the block base, defining the interior spaces.
This is not the status quo; but the building doesn't shout, fitting into its surroundings with a surprising quiet grace. The master bedroom overlooks Pittsburgh's first residential "green" roof garden, which blooms from March through November.
Says Mr. Fisher, "When we eliminated the interior walls and added windows, daylight flooded the interior and the home came to appear bigger. Our home is green: Earth sheltered construction, paper insulation, bamboo floors, low-e windows, and radiant heat make this Pittsburgh's greenest home. And it's cat friendly: our kitty, Raja, enters his box from under the living room stair. Mary and I empty the litter from the bathroom cabinet beyond."
"Ultimately," says the architect, "I design buildings that evoke emotion. Architecture is not about the way buildings look; it's about the way they make you feel."
This was the only time the Pittsburgh AIA has ever awarded a home both for its green qualities and its design excellence.