The Plaza: Hazelwood Green's first public space, and civic heart. 


Illustrative perspectives of the Plaza by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), October 2018.


The Plaza through the seasons. Click below to see more about the potentially programming on the Plaza below.


The Design

The design for the Plaza balances softscape (i.e. lawn, vegetation, rain gardens, etc.) with hardscape (i.e., paved surfaces) to facilitate a range of uses and flexibility for the space. The design includes a gentle water feature with low water flow that acts as a tranquil and interactive element for visitors. Additionally, swings on the Plaza add an element of play for all ages. Building from the Big Tent Event (in October 2017) and guided by the RFQ/RFP objectives, the design team met with several focus groups to discuss the Plaza and learn from experiences in Pittsburgh. Focus groups included experts in park and public space, Hazelwood neighborhood representatives, site tenants, sustainability experts, Hazelwood youth, and programming and event managers, to name a few. The design team is also investigating other elements, incuding sustainability education/awareness, temporary installations, and long-term maintenance and operations.

This space also enables a wide-range of programming. The ability to host community events and small-scale concerts were a major consideration in the design and layout of the Plaza. By providing future-proof infrastructure - electrical plug-ins, water fountains, different sized spaces, and programmed lighting - the space will be able to evolve over time responding to changing surroundings and needs.

The Plaza Final Land Development Plan (FLDP) was approved by Pittsburgh Planning Commission during the Hearing & Action on November 6, 2018. Following Planning Commission approval, the design team completed construction drawings, the project was bid, and in Spring 2019, a general contractor was selected to begin construction on the Plaza.

Conceptual north-south section of the Plaza by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), August 2018.

Conceptual north-south section of the Plaza by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), August 2018.

Conceptual east-west section of the  Plaza by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), October 2018.

Conceptual east-west section of the Plaza by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), October 2018.


About the Plaza & Design Team

The Plaza is Hazelwood Green’s first public open space. The two-acre public space is bounded by the Mill 19 building to the north and Hazelwood Green’s Lytle Street to the west, both of which are under construction and expected to be complete by Spring 2019. The two remaining two sides of the Plaza will be framed by future buildings that will have active first floor uses facing the Plaza. The design team is led by the landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C. GGN is working with local Pittsburgh firms, including Klavon Design Associates, KU Resources, Santangelo & Lindsay, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, as well as DCW Cost Management, SITEGreen Solutions, and Tillett Lighting Design Associates.

Plaza Schedule-2-01.jpg

“We received an outstanding mix of proposals, but were most impressed by GGN and their understanding of the role of this first public space in shaping Hazelwood Green as a place and for its important role within a larger system of well-loved civic centers in the City of Pittsburgh. GGN’s portfolio reflects a high quality of design and aesthetic, as well as sensitivity and experience in the integration of sustainability with design elements, all of which align with the vision for Hazelwood Green.”
— Rebecca Flora, Hazelwood Green Project Director

View from the southeast corner of the future Plaza, evening before the Big Tent Event, October 2017. Courtesy of ReMake Group

Sketch courtesy of GGN.

Sketch courtesy of GGN.

“Hazelwood Green is regenerative land. It is land that has changed so much over time and its most recent transition is a big one – from a privately held steel mill to a publicly accessible gathering place for the community of Pittsburgh. It’s a big change. This whole group – client and design team – is ‘all in’ to create a civic heart for Hazelwood Green that is welcoming for everyone and nourishes the bigger landscape.”
— Jennifer Guthrie, GGN Founding Principal, FASLA, PLA
“It’s an incredible site – the wooded green hills drop down to a flat land plain, and from there you see green mountains, river, and sky from one direction, and green mountain, sky, and the city view from the other. These are the two views that characterize this wonderful place that we are honored to help shape.”
— Kathryn Gustafson, GGN Founding Principal, FASLA, PLA