Scaife Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA


The Scaife Hall of Engineering is a mid-century complex including a boxy corporate structure with metal screens and a circular concrete-clad lecture hall. The structure was designed by local architects Altenhof and Bown in 1961-62. Bown attended Carnegie Mellon for architecture and was involved in designing several government buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.


The main building is clad in metal louvers that form a screen to help with shading the largely glass-walled exterior. The overall design is rather formal with a flat roof and prominent cornice overhang. Extending in front of the metal screen are evenly spaced thin white columns that support the roof. The unusually shaped lecture hall lacks much decoration other than its shape. But overall this is an interesting but lesser-known modernist structure on the edge of the Carnegie Mellow campus.


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