alcoa corporate center, pittsburgh pa 1994 - 1998





"checker skin-wrap" -- or,
curtain-scales -- glass-wallpaper

  • View of one checker-module typical bay showing the "unitized" shadowbox-sunscreen curtainwall system with asymmetrical checkerboard mullion pattern.






Like the serpentine block of office loft it wraps, the curtainwall is a "non-hierarchical" skin, layered from front-to-back according to utility. Without any vertical/stack-up aesthetic/up-down hierarchy being imposed, each layer of the wall assembly is free to acquire its required sizes and components to perform its respective functions: to veil, to wrap, to filter, and to reveal.

Each surface layer is absolutely uniform in color and material from top to bottom. There is no base-middle-top, floor-window-ceiling-spandrel articulation. In fact, every effort is made to obscure them -- hence the use of the two scales of checkerboard pattern and the "suspended" external suncreen. All expression or articulation of the skin-wall, including its coloration, is accomplished only as a result of the transparency of the front-to-back juxtaposition of the layers.

©1996, 1997 Agus Rusli / Rusli Associates









  • non-hierarchical curtainwall
  • layered transparency


    description continued :

  • . . . floating boulder : the serpentine block
  • . . . the checker skin-wrap
  • . . . linear volumes/ extruded zones
  • . . . skyline-silhouette

    in-progress construction photos

  • . . . curtainwall installation




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    d r a w i n g   l i s t :        





    . . . next : sunscreen, shadowbox
    . . . back to site/ building organization
    . . . river-curtain/ south elevation
    . . . river view of building; curving filigree skin wall
    . . . free floors/ outer infrastructure
    . . . atrium, core-building
    . . . floor plan, building section
    . . . west elevation, sunscreen assembly
    . . . in-progress construction photos
    . . . excerpt at front-page; or go to building description - or overview
    . . . ALCOA contents-page




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    views - concepts - drawings - models - construction -   c o n t e n t s

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