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Art Note: North Shore architect field narrows

Saturday, July 20, 2002

By Patricia Lowry, Post-Gazette architecture critic

Continental Real Estate Co., which quietly had asked six Western Pennsylvania architecture firms to provide design ideas for North Shore buildings, has narrowed the field to two.

The Design Alliance and Strada are the finalists.

The four other firms were Michael Baker Corp.; IKM Architects; L. Robert Kimball & Associates; and WTW Architects.

None of the firms was paid for their designs.

"I would not characterize the process as a design competition," said Jonathan Kass, Continental's president of development. "First of all, it is important to point out that we are merely working on a potential design for the first office building at the North Shore.

"We would hope that the ultimate design for whatever the first building turns out to be [office, apartments or something else entirely] would set the tone for future buildings to be complementary."

Kass said that because the process isn't a competition, there will be no "winning design."

"Rather, we see the final design for the first building evolving from a coordinated effort between the architect, the landlord and the tenant," he said. "As such, the ultimate design of this building will not be known until there is an identified tenant to occupy this building."

Continental was chosen in May by the Pirates and Steelers to be master developer for 25 acres of land between Heinz Field and PNC Park.

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