MSR Design Transforms an Abandoned Steel Mill into a Colourful Tech Campus | Mill 19

Minneapolis-based architecture firm MSR Design has successfully repurposed a 70-year-old abandoned steel mill in Pennsylvania by creating a vibrant tech campus that includes three colourful buildings and a large rooftop solar array. Located in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighbourhood, the adaptive reuse project occupies a former brownfield site that offers sweeping views of the Monongahela River. Here is a detailed report on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


MSR Design cleverly integrated three buildings within the expansive shell of the historic steel mill, resulting in a combined floor space of 263,200sq.

MSR Design cleverly integrated three buildings within the expansive shell of the historic steel mill, resulting in a combined floor space of 263,200sq. The campus has been specifically designed to cater to high-tech and manufacturing tenants. Known as Mill 19, the steel rolling mill had been constructed in 1953 and remained operational until 1997, making it the last steel mill to operate in Pittsburgh.


Skybridges and vibrant yellow staircases provide overhead connections.

As part of their preservation efforts, MSR Design made a conscious decision to retain the 1,360ft long and 100ft high steel skeleton of the old mill. The studio adopted a unique approach to adaptive reuse, exposing the mill’s striking steel skeleton by removing its deteriorated sheet-metal skin. Within these rugged frames, they inserted a series of cutting-edge office, laboratory and manufacturing structures, showcasing a fusion of history and modernity. Skybridges and vibrant yellow staircases provide overhead connections.


The studio adopted a unique approach to adaptive reuse, exposing the mill’s striking steel skeleton by removing its deteriorated sheet-metal skin.

The interiors of Mill 19 prioritize openness and adaptability, incorporating ample glass to maximize natural light. According to the design team, the internal layouts were created to offer flexibility, open spaces and abundant daylight, thus catering to the needs of the high-tech tenants. The campus further boasts a variety of outdoor spaces including gardens, terraces and plazas that accommodate diverse experiences. The landscape architecture for the project has been handled by TEN x TEN, a firm based in Minneapolis.


The campus features a two-megawatt rooftop solar array, reportedly one of the largest single-slope arrays in the United States.

Sustainability played a significant role in the design, thus leading the project to receive the prestigious 2023 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Award. The campus features a two-megawatt rooftop solar array, reportedly one of the largest single-slope arrays in the United States. Additionally, sustainable elements an extensive system of rain gardens, channels and cisterns to manage and reuse stormwater have also been incorporated. Moreover, salvaged materials from the steel mill were incorporated into the site, such as utilizing broken pieces of the original concrete slab within the landscape.


As part of their preservation efforts, MSR Design made a conscious decision to retain the 1,360ft long and 100ft high steel skeleton of the old mill.

Project details

Client: Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC)

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Project type: Workplaces

Photographs: Gaffer Photography; Courtesy: MSR Design

×
×

Post Your Comment


"Content that powers your Business. News that keeps you informed."

Surfaces Reporter is one of India's leading media in Print & Digital Telecast for News on Interiors & Architecture Projects, Products, Building Materials, and the Business of Design! Since 2011, it serves as a referral for designers & architects to know about inspiring projects and source new products. If you have a Product or Project worth publishing in Surfaces Reporter, please email us hello@surfacesreporter.com or you can also submit your project online.

Like Surfaces Reporter on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram | Subscribe to our magazine | Sign Up for the FREE Surfaces Reporter Magazine Newsletter

Innovative Use of Recycled Stones and Copper-Colored Bricks  in This Tehran Building by Hooba Design Group

The Darya Residential Apartment Building in Tehran, designed by Hooba Design Group, includes open-air terraces lined with copper-colored glazed bricks that enhance light and air circulation within the structure.

Read more

BWM Designers & Architects Unveil Austrian Pavilion Design for Expo Osaka 2025 | Japan

The Austrian Pavilion at Expo Osaka 2025 features a prominent sculptural spiral, resembling an oversized musical staff made of wooden slats.

Read more

KPF Redesigns HSBC Tower with Cut-Out Terraces | London

Architecture firm KPF has unveiled ambitious plans to transform the Foster + Partners-designed HSBC tower in Canary Wharf, London, into a model of sustainable, mixed-use architecture for the future.

Read more

Recycled Glassware and Lampshades from Upcycled Bottles | Heineken

Heinekens Waste-to-Wear initiative in South Africa transforms single-use bottles into stylish homeware and fashion items, alongside introducing returnable bottles.

Read more


This is alt