PPG Paints was looking for a unique way to announce and display their new color of the year, and create a project distinctly about their location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They also wanted to showcase two other featured colors for the year at the same time. The project took place in a large tent in PPG Plaza in Pittsburgh and I built three buildings over the course of three days: PPG Place Tower, Heinz Field, and PNC Park. I built the projects out of playing cards, and used paint chips for succulent green, curry yellow, and light blue as the outermost layers to show off PPG’s featured colors. The project was conceived as an experience for pedestrians in downtown Pittsburgh, and as a local market PR piece.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pittsburgh, but few if any cities of this size have architecture on display like this one. Back in the day, Pittsburgh was an industrial behemoth, and the structures that remain from this period—both residential and industrial—are truly works of art. On the more modern side of things, Pittsburgh has really reinvented itself and has a lot of very interesting modern buildings as well. Add to this the drama of all the bridges crossing the rivers and you’ve got a mini Gotham, which is new and old all at once as well as safe to explore. My favorite building in all of Pittsburgh is the old Allegheny County Courthouse by H.H. Richardson, a building that influenced an entire generation of architects. You can’t graduate from architecture school without learning about this building, and it would be a dream project for me to just spend a month building it with all its complexities.