K. Leroy Irvis Archive Room at Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh

K. Leroy Irvis Room Educational Building Interior Design

  • Owner: Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
  • Location: Hillman Library Pitt Campus Pittsburgh, PA
  • Size: 2,100 s.f.

This project is located within the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library, intended to feature the writings of K. Leroy Irvis, former State House Speaker, who donated them to the university several years ago.

Mr. Irvis broke ground in 1977 when he became the first African American to serve as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Firm president, Howard Graves, worked closely with Mr. and Mrs. Irvis , as project architect, as he developed a design that would be reflective of the former Speaker and visionary man. Mr. Irvis was fond of airplanes, which is reflected in the ceiling design. The result is a project that shows a perspective symbol of honesty and integrity and provides space for an interactive learning opportunity

The design uses symmetry to achieve a formal, yet graceful, statement and theme. The architecture exploits a free plan both horizontally and vertically, with emphasis on scale, texture, and functional relationships. Mies Van Der Rohe’s 1929 Barcelona Exposition Pavilion Building served as a benchmark reference for the project, for the architecture that sets the framework for program.

  • Features included:
  • Gallery
  • Reading Area
  • Reception Area
  • Archive storage
  • Administrative
  • Office space