Catalyst Connection Office at Mill 19 carnegie mellon
Catalyst Connection Office at Mill 19 carnegie mellon



7,000 sf


Pittsburgh, PA


Design Architect + Interior Architecture


Meeting rooms, executive boardroom, workstations and hoteling workstations, training classrooms, phone room, open collaboration space, pantry, waiting / entry area


A warm palette of wood screens and pops of vibrant green provide an oasis for visitors attending various workshops or mentoring sessions. Biophilic elements such as plants, natural daylighting, and views to the Monongahela River provide a connection to nature. Every area in the design has access to daylight except strictly support and storage spaces. Since Catalyst worked closely with small businesses to help them succeed and thrive, the inclusion and incorporation of locally and regionally made small business products became a focus of the project. Locally sourced, custom-made wooden tables highlight Catalyst’s commitment to supporting small manufacturing within the region.


Catalyst hosts networking events and training sessions for the manufacturing community, requiring a flexible and technology enabled space separated from private, heads-down working space. The transition to an open office workplace became a cultural challenge for its employees, even though a more collaborative, community-based work environment better supports the type of work that Catalyst Connection performs. The conversion enhanced the encouragement of teamwork, and communication to help achieve manufacturing competitiveness.


Being an organization with a collaborative focus, Catalyst Connection’s facility hosts both public and private gatherings. To accommodate this, we designed the space to be as flexible as possible without losing personality. The centrally located cafe and collaboration area support events at both intimate and larger scales. Acoustic ceiling fixtures keep reverberance down while adding visual interest. The facility includes state-of-the-art technologies, such as pop-up charging stations, scalable telecom support, and educational AV equipment for remote learning and presentations to aid creativity, productivity and innovation.


The tenant space provided in the Mill 19 Building A provided an interesting challenge concerning the overall design due to its configuration within the building. Our design utilized this layout, rather than resisting it, to designate zones and allow for the best location of each programmatic elements. The design team also took on educating the client and incorporating biophilic elements into the design. A compliment of biophilic elements like plants, daylight, and views to the Monongahela River enhance occupant well-being. To further signify it as a special place, the workroom was clad in birch plywood panels and was treated as a “volume within a volume.” 

To compliment the birch plywood volume, a set of walnut wood “planes” defined the entry sequence. Rather than being defined by rooms, the carpet pattern was approached as a “connective fabric” where large swaths of color would flow freely between all rooms. 

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