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It's debatable!

Imagine if Phillip Johnson and John Burgee, architects of PPG Place, debated the question "What makes a building attractive?" with the firm Harrison & Abramovitz, designers of USXTower and Alcoa Building.

Research their design philosophies and some of their other designs, then role-play a debate. End with a critique each others' work.

  • What do they each believe makes a successful building? An attractive building?
  • In what ways would they agree? How would they disagree?
  • What would they think of each other's designs?

John Burgee and Philip Johnston

PPG Place

PPG Place, 1984

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

PPG Place from Station Square

(Susan Donley)

Harrison & Abramovitz

Alcoa Building

Alcoa Building, 1951

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

USX Tower

USX Tower, 1970

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

Now try some time-traveling and debate some of the great architects of earlier generations: H. H. Richardson (Allegheny County Courthouse), Frederick Osterling (Arrott and Union Trust Buildings), or Henry Hornbostel (Grant Building)!

What would they say about each other's work and the work of their colleagues from later in the 20th century?

Henry Hobson Richardson

Allegheny County Courthouse

Allegheny County Courthouse, 1888

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

Frederick Osterling

Arrott Building

Arrott Building, 1901

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

Union Trust Building

Union Trust Building, 1915-17

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks)

Henry Hornbostel

Grant Building

Grant Building, 1927-30

(Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation)


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