How Does Your Garden Grow?

A unique site plan and a high volume of required parking presented some interesting challenges to this ground-up project located in Pittsburgh’s thriving, historic market district. The 21,500-square-foot structure sits one level above the street, with service reception on the first floor and an eight-car showroom and sales area on the second and third floors, facing downtown Pittsburgh with framed views of the skyline. (There’s also a roof deck for event space.)


With the service workshop located off-site, a two-story parking deck extends beyond the building to take advantage of the remaining parcel. To soften the parking structure’s presence on the street, a lattice wall fronts the majority of the length. Four types of flowering vines native to the Pittsburgh area will be planted at the bottom of the wall and guided through the lattice. The plants will be maintained through use of a system that features both an underground detention tank and a rain-harvesting tank.


“The wall was a perfect solution for the site,” says William Krahe, president of Grand View Development Company, which oversaw the project for #1 Cochran. “We’re able to protect the underside of the deck by covering it. We are able to add landscaping despite space limitations. And, it gave us some points with regard to storm-water management by collecting rain and runoff and reusing it.”


“All together, this project was a great reuse of what was essentially a brownfield,” Krahe says. “Because of the environmental improvements and aesthetics of the wall and the Audi branding, we have received tremendous support from our neighbors and the city.”


The Audi Pittsburgh green wall was a collaboration between CDR Studio Architects, local design team Nudell Architects and landscape architects Fahringer, McCarty, Grey. Project completion is scheduled for September 2018.