Astorino, a full-service firm providing architectural, engineering, interior design and construction services, recently won a Citation of Merit in Regional & Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pennsylvania for the design of “Pittsburgh’s Tribute to Children” honoring Fred Rogers.
The AIA’s Architectural Excellence Awards program was held in conjunction with its annual Architects Day, on April 3, 2012, in Harrisburg, where entries were exhibited throughout the Capitol Rotunda.
The Fred Rogers Company (formerly Family Communications, Inc.) with support from the Colcom Foundation, commissioned Astorino to design and construct a monument that would preserve the legacy of Mister Rogers as a pioneer in child development. Working with internationally-renowned sculptor Robert Berks, Astorino created a design that captures Mister Rogers’ lifelong dedication to children.
At the dedication of the monument in 2009, Michael Strueber of the Colcom Foundation noted the significance of the site. “It was Astorino’s idea to place ‘Pittsburgh’s Tribute to Children’ in its present location. The visionary sighting of this sculpture is nothing less than brilliant,” he said. “Astorino opened and recycled the Manchester Bridge Pier. They chose to cantilever the statue’s base adjacent to the confluence of rivers facing our historic point and the city of Pittsburgh. Against the backdrop of Heinz Stadium, their design was daring, difficult and ultimately dazzling.”
The monument is meant to be a space that honors the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, and also serves as a place that fosters the relationship between children, family and community. The AIA’s Citation describes the monument as “whimsical and right at the same time. The decision to use a piece of 20th century industrial era infrastructure to create a 21st century folly is inspired, and the resulting design honors Mister Rogers and provides an ornament for an increasingly public riverfront.”
“We put Fred in a spot overlooking his beloved city, where thousands of people will see him and be reminded of his message,” said Louis D. Astorino, FAIA. “Although he was a humble man, his medium…television…was not. The prominent placement of the statue reflects the prominence of the medium that he used to bestow his humble message to millions. That message of kindness, individual self-esteem, respect for each other...reflected upon every day by as many people as possible...would make this a better world. I believe that Fred’s message has that kind of power.”
The Architectural Excellence Awards make the public aware of the broadest possible range of architects' skills and services and encourages the demonstration of exceptional professional skills within the entire scope of the design field.
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For nearly four decades, Astorino has been at the forefront of where people and design intersect. A full-service company, Astorino combines architectural, engineering, construction and interior design solutions with unprecedented human-centered research to provide one seamless delivery process. This internationally recognized firm leverages its creative foundation, interdisciplinary expertise and a strong collaborative approach to create environments inspired by how people live, learn, heal, work and play. For more information, please visit www.astorino.com.
Leslie J. Vincen