Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Studio Hive

Architect: GBBN

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Category One: Up to $150,000 in construction costs

This ‘room within a room’ known as the Studio Hive creates an intriguing image, identifying and providing a threshold into the library’s Teen Zone. Its creation has contributed to a 350 percent increase in attendance at the library’s teen programs and events and a 670 percent increase in attendance.

The Studio Hive is a part of the Teen Zone in the East Liberty Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Recognizing that the teen population in this underserved community is in need of after-school educational programs, the Library targeted the building for a facility and program intervention. It was essential that capital costs were tightly maintained so that adequate funds could be allocated for robust programs centered around digital exploration and production.

"A graceful solution to a ubiquitous problem." ~ Jury comment

Located in a daylight-infused corner of the adult services space, the Teen Zone is intentionally divided into spaces that promote different levels of activity. The ‘living room’ is a very informal and casual space, facilitating hanging out, playing video games, and watching movies. The collaboration space, made up of small group seating, offers an environment for more structured and experimental group activity where the sharing of ideas occurs. Study group sessions and craft activities occur within this space. The Studio Hive, based loosely on the form of a beehive, provides the space for intensive personal creative exploration. It is insulated from more physical activity yet allows for subtle views into and out of it.

"The project is especially innovative in how it quantified the positive effects of design, which could benefit a myriad of future projects." ~ Jury comment

The development of these distinct areas recognizes that the creative process requires varying levels of engagement and activity. The provision of resources that support a variety of work-and-play methods encourages the innovation that stimulates creative thinking and investment in the process of exploration.

Additional information

Owner: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Hive Fabricator: River Projects

General Contractor: Team Laminates Company


2016 Small Projects Awards Jury

Marika Snider, AIA (Chair), Snider Architecture, Beavercreek, Ohio

Will Bruder, FAIA, Will Bruder Architects, Phoenix

Mira Locher, FAIA, Kajika Architecture PLLC, Salt Lake City

Elizabeth Ranieri, FAIA, Kuth Ranieri, San Francisco

Jonathan Tate, Office Jonathan Tate, New Orleans

Image credits



Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Studio Hive 1

Ed Massery

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Studio Hive 2

Ed Massery

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Studio Hive 3

Ed Massery