The Frick Environmental Center
Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Owner: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Award of Excellence
Situated on the edge of Pittsburgh’s wooded 644-acre Frick Park, the Frick Environmental Center is a living learning center for hands-on experiential environmental education, providing visitors with diverse opportunities to experience a natural ecosystem while learning the technical aspects of a net-zero building. The project embodies the neighborhood-to nature-ideal that served as inspiration for Frick Park’s formation more than 80 years ago.
"Beautiful in all seasons, this is extremely well sited and engages intimately with the surrounding landscape. The educational program is enhanced by its integration and stewardship to the park." ~ Jury Statement
Serving as a public gateway to Frick Park, the Frick Environmental Center is designed to both beckon and shelter; gently nudging park visitors from the edge of city neighborhoods towards the heart of the “wild” park beyond. The project’s beauty inspires new visitors while simultaneously asking them to grapple with the impact of our humanity in a dynamic natural ecosystem—one that we are part of, yet inherently distanced from. The Center provides the backdrop for public discourse about this delicate balance. The Frick Environmental Center was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification, and is currently in the performance review period for the Living Building Challenge, widely regarded as the world’s most rigorous and complete building standard.