984 Greenfield Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 phone: 412 214 7550 email: nhart@hartarc.com

How is a building designed? I apply these core values to every project.


Design is a careful balance of context, client needs, user needs, technology, and natural systems. Elegant design takes this one step further. It recognizes and eliminates that which is not needed. What remains is a design that achieves the maximum effect through the minimum means. Elegant design is what Hart Architectural Services strives for in every design.


What is the essence of a place? Do neighboring buildings share a common language? What is the nature of their materials, their details, the scale, their function? What characteristics impart a sense of shared identity? A building feels right when it is in visual harmony with its surroundings, whether that setting be a forest glade or a dense urban neighborhood. A building that fits is a building that retains its value and complements its neighbors.


In what ways can we work with natural systems? How can the sun, wind, earth, and water be used to help make occupants more comfortable while saving energy and money? What opportunities exist for pleasant views and day lit spaces? A building is most valuable when it is comfortable, efficient, and attractive to inhabit.


What visual characteristics inform the use of a building? Different design features evoke "home" or "church" or "store" or "school". A home should convey shelter, comfort, and security. A church building should humble, awe, and inspire its parishioners. A retail establishment needs to be noticed, approachable, and evoke a desire for the product that it is selling. A school must nurture while providing students a feeling of tradition, respect, and a thirst for knowledge. A successful building imparts upon us a clear sense of its purpose.


Quality design can benefit your return on investment. What are your needs and expectations as a client? Together we can explore the tradeoffs between upfront cost, operating costs, resale value, flexibility for reuse, and aesthetics. A successful design will respect and inform your budget and will seek to optimize your property's financial value.