IKM Inc

First Avenue Garage


Location: Pittsburgh,  PA
Completion: 2001
Project Size: 1246 Cars
Services: Architecture


The Pittsburgh Parking Authority desired to provide parking at a peripheral point of Pittsburgh’s central business district that would take advantage of all transportation systems serving the golden triangle including light rail, commuter vehicles and recreational and commuter Eliza Furnace Trail users including cyclists, bladers and runners in an intermodal facility.

As the architects for the project, our challenge was to design a facility that maximized parking in an intermodal facility, minimized circulation within the footprint of the site, and provided functional access and egress.

The solution developed is a flat plate, single ramped parking scheme that parks all vehicles on level surfaces and has the capacity for 1248 cars. The creativity of this building lies in a design that celebrates movement.

Building materials were selected to solve the challenges of winter construction as well as to provide a cost effective solution. A grid of vertical steel tubes and horizontal louvers contrasts precast concrete on the façade. Bright colors in the interior garage spaces act as a branding element that mimics the Parking Authority’s logo colors.

Lighting is used as a design element to illuminate the movement of people, elevators and cars and provides an added sense of security. Exterior lighting draws attention to and emphasizes the building among the structures of the skyline. Corner stair towers use an inverted angle to give the roof-scape a more interesting look.

And finally, the First Avenue Garage design smoothly adjoins the First Avenue Transit stop and permits commuters to park in a safe, economical facility on the edge of the city and access the light rail transit system to conveniently reach their downtown destination.