Through our discussions with the FRP team, quality of light was very important – not only from the lighting but from natural daylight as well. With the amount of exterior glazing, we wanted to take the opportunity to get as much natural light to as many people and as deep into the space as possible. Due to the program and the layout, we had large blocks of private offices, but we created a glazing design that incorporated elements of the residential neighborhood concept and the Mexican War Streets inspiration that told conceptual story while achieving the desired effect by utilizing clearstories between the offices.




Pittsburgh, PA


11,000 sf.


Renovation of Interior space for the offices; Increased acoustic comfort; Double glazed partitions; Increased partition sound mitigation strategies; Democratization of daylighting

Typical Building Materials Used in Unique Ways

R3A listened carefully to the client’s cultural needs and understood the non-profit’s financial limitations. We provided thoughtful and creative insights while innovating practical and flexible solutions. Examples include creating hanging acoustic panels from plywood and rolled felt in lieu of expensive PET felt acoustic treatments or typical acoustic products in the open office area, and creating a custom magnetized fan letter board for physical fan mail. The concept stems from Fred Rogers’ ideal of never poking holes in letters or photos to hang them. Fan mail board was constructed of felt wrapped metal and uses rare earth magnets to display mail.

Inspired by Neighborhoods

The blocking of private offices was inspired by studying the Mexican War Streets in Pittsburgh. Multiple iterations of office front designs were presented to study how literal the design could be applied. The outcome of the exercise used the same placement of windows and doors but changing the colors of the trims and “front stoop” carpeting. The intentional jogging of the office faces strengthens the design in a subtle way creating a street-like rhythm as one walks through the neighborhood. Lastly, each “home” has an independently switched front porch light that can be used as a do-not-disturb or “I’m home and available” indicator.

R3A was mindful of sustainability and FRP being a good “neighbor” by specifying touchless low flow faucets, energy-efficient appliances, use of materials with transparent manufacturing practices, and increasing natural daylight. 95% of the vacated Fred Rogers Productions office equipment and furnishings was able to be donated locally to different organizations.

Inspired by Mister Rogers

R3A’s design pays homage to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, using oblong pill shaped backsplash tile and colored grout to create a subtle Fred Rogers / Daniel Tiger sweater pattern, and using plaid patterns throughout the space, including one on the couch similar to the one from the show. We also created a functional boardroom awards display for the client that celebrates their past achievements while hiding technology elements; it also harkens back to the iconic show by matching the color of King Friday’s castle.

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