flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

University of Pittsburgh reinvents century-old Model-T building as a life sciences research facility

Adaptive Reuse

University of Pittsburgh reinvents century-old Model-T building as a life sciences research facility

After opening earlier this year, The Assembly recently achieved LEED Gold certification, aligning with the school’s and community’s larger sustainability efforts.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor  | December 21, 2022
University of Pittsburgh reinvents century-old Model-T building as a life sciences research facility
The century-old building began as a Model-T assembly line and showroom for the Ford Motor Company in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy University of Pittsburgh

Today, The Assembly is a state-of-the-art life sciences research and innovation facility. But the century-old building began as a Model-T assembly line and showroom for the Ford Motor Company in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. 

Developed by Wexford Science & Technology, The Assembly opened earlier this year and more recently achieved LEED Gold certification for its design, construction, and operations practices, which focused on improving environmental and human health. The Assembly is the University’s 18th project to earn a LEED certification since 2005, when it received its first LEED Gold certification for the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine

The newest LEED Gold certification aligns with the school’s and the community’s larger sustainability efforts, including the Plan for Pitt, the Pitt Sustainability Plan, and a commitment to third-party certified green buildings. The university intends to reach carbon neutrality both on- and off-campus by 2037.

Designed by ZGF and built by Turner Construction, The Assembly diverted nearly 90% of construction waste from the landfill. Of its renovation materials, 56% were regional and 32% recycled. Close to public transit, The Assembly provides bicycle storage and changing rooms, as well as 30 electric vehicle chargers.

The Assembly is part of a 355,000-sf life science redevelopment complex in the former Ford plant. The research taking place at The Assembly includes cancer biology and immunology, among other areas.

Constructed in 1915, the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant housed Model-T production, showroom, and sales until 1932. As a dealership, it remained in business until 1953, then sat largely vacant. In 2018, the original building was named to the National Register of Historic Places, and the University of Pittsburgh and Wexford acquired the property and announced redevelopment plans.

On the Building Team:
Developer: Wexford Science & Technology
Capital partner: Ventas
Design architect and architect of record: ZGF Architects
MEP engineer: AEI
Structural engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Construction: Turner Construction

Related Stories

Urban Planning | Feb 5, 2024

Lessons learned from 70 years of building cities

As Sasaki looks back on 70 years of practice, we’re also looking to the future of cities. While we can’t predict what will be, we do know the needs of cities are as diverse as their scale, climate, economy, governance, and culture.

Adaptive Reuse | Feb 4, 2024

Corporate modernist buildings increasingly popular fodder for adaptive reuse projects

Beginning in the 1970s adaptive reuse projects transformed 19th and early 20th Century buildings into distinctive retail destinations. Increasingly, developers of adaptive reuse projects are targeting outmoded corporate buildings of the 1950s to 1980s.

Luxury Residential | Jan 30, 2024

Lumen Fox Valley mall-to-apartments conversion completes interiors

Architecture and interior design firm Morgante Wilson Architects (MWA) today released photos of its completed interiors work at Lumen Fox Valley, a 304-unit luxury rental community and mall-to-apartments conversion.

Senior Living Design | Jan 24, 2024

Former Walgreens becomes affordable senior living community

Evergreen Real Estate Group has announced the completion of Bellwood Senior Apartments. The 80-unit senior living community at 542 25th Ave. in Bellwood, Ill., provides independent living options for low-income seniors.

Adaptive Reuse | Jan 23, 2024

Adaptive reuse report shows 55K impact of office-to-residential conversions

The latest RentCafe annual Adaptive Reuse report shows that there are 55,300 office-to-residential units in the pipeline as of 2024—four times as much compared to 2021.

Adaptive Reuse | Jan 18, 2024

Coca-Cola packaging warehouse transformed into mixed-use complex

The 250,000-sf structure is located along a now defunct railroad line that forms the footprint for the city’s multi-phase Beltline pedestrian/bike path that will eventually loop around the city.

Adaptive Reuse | Jan 12, 2024

Office-to-residential conversions put pressure on curbside management and parking

With many office and commercial buildings being converted to residential use, two important issues—curbside management and parking—are sometimes not given their due attention. Cities need to assess how vehicle storage, bike and bus lanes, and drop-off zones in front of buildings may need to change because of office-to-residential conversions.

K-12 Schools | Jan 8, 2024

Video: Learn how DLR Group converted two big-box stores into an early education center

Learn how the North Kansas City (Mo.) School District and DLR Group adapted two big-box stores into a 115,000-sf early education center offering services for children with special needs. 

Affordable Housing | Dec 14, 2023

What's next for affordable housing in 2024?

As 2023 draws to a close, GBBN’s Mary Jo Minerich and Amanda Markovic, AIA sat down to talk about the future. What’s next in terms of trends, technology, and construction of affordable housing?

MFPRO+ News | Nov 21, 2023

Underused strip malls offer great potential for conversions to residential use

Replacing moribund strip malls with multifamily housing could make a notable dent in the housing shortage and revitalize under-used properties across the country, according to a report from housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021