A Dynamic Academic-Workplace Hybrid at Carnegie Mellon University

The eastern facade of TCS Hall, seen from the Tepper School of Business © Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

Inviting Gateway

Exploring the geography of Forbes Avenue, we saw an opportunity to create a highly visible expression of the activity and vibrancy within TCS Hall, as well as knit the building into both academic and urban contexts. The project site corresponds to a bend in this busy Pittsburgh thoroughfare — a prime vehicular gateway to campus. We positioned collaborative and meeting spaces within a transparent façade to bring multiple building occupants to the fore, creating an activated moment along the street.

© Nic Lehoux
© Nic Lehoux

Flexible Framework

A variety of spaces balance the needs of diverse tenants, supporting distinct and shared functions while anticipating the desire for future modifications. Welcoming visitors in from the plaza, a two-story “collaboration porch” provides an informal lobby and gathering area, with an art wall and a variety of flexible seating — a multipurpose gathering space. Leveraging our work for technology clients like Square, Apple, Twitter and others, we created an asymmetrical core to enable expansive, open floor plates that could offer versatility with evolving use. Stairs and plinths were designed as inviting places for people to cross paths and connect throughout the day.

Opening views out across campus, we created a visual link to the terraces at the nearby Tepper School of Business. © Nic Lehoux

Bridging Industry and Academics

Providing exposure to real-world application is an important component of the educational process at Carnegie Mellon University. Located on the ground floor, the Center for Business Engagement at TCS Hall is an outward-facing entrepreneurial space for companies to visit, interact with the campus and learn more about research projects underway. The University’s Institute for Software Research, a component of the School of Computer Science, is a major tenant of the building, with faculty offices, a makerspace, research lab, classrooms, and conference rooms. The Master of Science in Computational Finance program houses offices and classrooms for distance learning to address the programmatic challenge of linking the Pittsburgh campus to its Manhattan counterpart. Recognizing the importance of an integrated experience between campuses, we created spaces that would facilitate enhanced connectivity between the two.

Further Reading

TCS Hall, Carnegie Mellon University
ANSYS Hall: A Place for Innovation
ANSYS Hall wins AIA Pennsylvania Honor Award
Reimagining the Rust Belt — Building Authentic, Sustainable Ecosystems for Innovation



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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson


Designing buildings that inspire connection and wonder in every person who experiences them.