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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Creating the Regenerative School

A new book from ORO Editions explores the design of healthy, resilient, and restorative places of learning, from early childhood education through 12th grade.

"The project really does serve the larger community, specifically in getting inner-city kids to understand what nature is about, how to engage with nature, the benefits of it—and then support the parks in Pittsburgh in the future."
Patricia Culley, AIA, Associate Principal

We’re excited to share that the Frick Environmental Center, a Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum-certified project, is included in the forthcoming book Creating the Regenerative School by ORO Editions. The book, by Alan Ford, Kate Mraw, and Betsy del Monte, includes research and case studies ranging from early childhood centers and elementary schools to high schools, environmental centers, and retreats. Creating the Regenerative School is available for pre-order now on the ORO Editions website.

The Frick Environmental Center sits at the western entrance to Pittsburgh’s 644-acre Frick Park, which connects eight city neighborhoods. The park opened in 1927 on land gifted by industrialist Henry Clay Frick and has since expanded to become a beloved community asset. The three-story center, located on a four-acre site, features classrooms for kindergarten through 12th grade environmental education programs, a public living room and gallery, and spaces for staff.

While primarily a learning space, the Frick Environmental Center was designed to be adaptable. Most of its spaces, both indoors and out, can be reserved by local groups. Its grounds contain gardens, an edible classroom, a fountain, and an amphitheater. The project is a joint venture between the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the city’s park system.