Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Center for the Creative and Performing Arts

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA High School) is Pittsburgh Public Schools’ magnet school for the arts. It offers standard academic curriculum, and specialized training in music, visual arts, theater, dance and literary arts. CAPA is contained partly in a new six-story building. It is interconnected to the third through eighth floors of the adjacent ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$201.31CITATIONWilliam W. Caudill CitationFEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio existing Bitz Foundation Building. The design challenge was to be bold and creative, showcase the arts, and complement Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and Allegheny riverfront.

Situated at an entranceway to Pittsburgh, the school is a dramatic addition to the skyline that showcases dance, music and drama rehearsals through a six-story, curved glass wall. A three-story-high video screen on the exterior facade showcases students’ artwork and performances. The facility stacks irregular, long-span spaces of an experimental theater, dance studios, orchestra and choral rehearsal halls, a gymnasium, fitness center and cafeteria over a main proscenium theater with a six-story stage house. The building’s structural system and interior construction were designed to accommodate the dynamic loads of dance and theater, and to provide the necessary sound separation.

CAPA’s 420-seat theater features an orchestra pit with motorized lift, a six-story stage house with a counterbalanced rigging system, a cushioned tongue-and-groove fir stage floor, removable traps and a custom adjustable-height orchestra shell.

A two-story painting and drawing studio with clerestory windows, a sculpture studio, a ceramics studio, photography studios equipped for both digital and film media, and television/animation studios also are included. Other artist studios include literary arts, textile, printmaking and art history.

"Great use of space. Inviting and conducive to learning. I`d love to learn here!"--2004 jury