The University of Pittsburgh purchased this 40-year-old building with an eye toward both its near- and long-term future. In its previous life, this 12,000 SF, three-story building with a walk-out basement served as a small medical office building. DesignGroup’s scope of work included both core and shell and interior renovation. In its new life, it provides a co-working home for the University’s IT Department. The IT team began a policy of remote work in September 2019, well before the pandemic arrived, embracing this policy as its present and future way of working.
Though this department is relatively straightforward, the complexity of the project is in the interactivity of all spaces and variety of workstation types. This new space provides flexibility for staff who need to work in this space full-time and for others that use the space in regular or infrequent intervals, while also working from home. As such, the program includes private offices, shared offices which can be reserved, open workstations, hoteling areas, team work areas and flex work areas with comfortable furniture and even small phone booth options. The goal of this project is to provide a variety of workstation types to serve all their new modes of working and provide flexibility that will be adequate for the various needs of Pitt’s IT team.
This project provides a template for the co-working office space of the future for the university. It also gives the opportunity to vacate significant physical space on campus by the IT department, and to open this space up for future academic programming. In short, without an immense capital expenditure this project allows for a better working model for the university while also creating desperately needed “found” space for new higher and better uses.