the garden room at the national aviary : pittsburgh, pa

garden in a park

Client: National Aviary

The National Aviary is the country’s largest aviary, inspiring respect for nature through an appreciation of birds. Their existing facility in Pittsburgh’s historic North Side neighborhood offers large walk-through habitats, avian research and medical facilities, and spaces for gathering and education. The Garden Room addition responds to the National Aviary’s record growth in programming and outreach in recent years with a four-season facility for hosting social and corporate events, and expanding education programs serving community schools. The project also redesigns the west entrance as The Charity Randall Foundation Eagle Hall, creating a new grand Lobby, connecting the existing building and The Garden Room, and establishing a more prominent gift shop and area for catering prep. Sensitive redesign of the historic rose garden at the site allows activity in The Garden Room to extend outdoors to the picturesque, lush landscape, and restores public access to the tranquil garden when events are not scheduled.

PWWG’s design for The Garden Room addition responds to the National Aviary’s goals to connect people to nature, embrace the historic and contemporary elements in the neighborhood, and maintain high levels of sustainability in all facets of operations. The concept creates “garden in a park.” Orientation to nearby historic Allegheny Commons Park and use of glass curtain wall that slides open connect inside to out with an expansive view. The structure’s scale, graceful wing-like roof, and detailing in masonry, wood and glass respect the existing building and nearby structures while creating a distinctive architectural presence. Inside, finishes, a hearth, and AV infrastructure create a rustic yet sophisticated environment for the Aviary’s broad line-up of programming.

With expansive glazing in The Garden Room, PWWG collaborated with the National Aviary and specialty consultants to integrate bird-safe, sustainable design elements.


8700 sf, single story addition

Construction Cost

$ 3,500,000 (estimated)

Firm Responsibility

Architectural Design
Contract Documents
Contract Administration

Completion Date

September 2020




Landscape Design

Moore Design Associates

MEP/FP/FA Engineering

CJL Engineering

Structural Engineering

Taylor Structural Engineering

Civil Engineering

Moore Design Associates

LEED Organization

CJL Engineering

Cost Estimating

Morgan Property & Construction Consultants

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