From left to right: Georgia Petropoulos, CEO, Oakland Business Improvement District – ULI District Council Chair; Deepak Wadhwani, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Principal, R3A Architecture; Jon Williams, AIA, Associate, R3A Architecture
The Placemaking Awards for Excellence is an event that provides ULI the opportunity to formally recognize outstanding projects, achievements, and leaders in the region who are committed to the creation and celebration of “place.”
The Catalytic Place honor and award is given to a project that is recognized as a place that best generates improvement and progress to the economic development and/or standard of living in a surrounding community. Digital Foundry at New Kensington embodies these characteristics, truly serving as a catalyst for positive community development and change in New Kensington.
At 15,044 square feet, The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is conceived as an Industry 4.0-based technology innovation hub. One of the keys to the successful execution of this project lies in ensuring that the design is intrinsically “New Kensington.” To support local manufacturers in the implementation of “Digital Twinning,” the project included a computer technology lab and a multipurpose workforce training center that can be subdivided into classrooms, collaboration areas, meeting rooms, office space, demonstration area, and the high bay project cell garage.
As Dr. Kevin Snider, Chancellor Penn State New Kensington, stated, “Digital Foundry at New Kensington, a state-of-the-art hub for future-readiness in the Pittsburgh region and partnership between the R.K. Mellon Foundation, Penn State New Kensington, the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland County, and the City of New Kensington… is the key component in… K-16 students, workers, companies, and community members learning and honing the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. I invite you to explore and join us as we create this model of community collaboration and future-ready preparedness that we hope will be used to improve the futures of those living and working in Rust Belt and rural America.”
The R3A team members who worked on the project attended the Oct. 18 award ceremony.