Riverview Towers is affordable housing for seniors serving over two hundred residents in Pittsburgh, PA, and overlooks the Monongahela River. The owners received a grant to make the main entrance wheelchair accessible, with a permanent covering that spanned from the automobile drop-off area to the main entrance.
The design focuses on strengthening the residents’ connection to nature. The natural forces of sky, water, wind, and earth are celebrated at the point of arrival. Rain is collected on an upper canopy shaped like a folded leaf that serves as a water trough. As the water spills from the upper canopy to the lower canopy, the design included water chimes; producing gentle music that surrounds residents during a rainfall. The rainwater proceeds into a recessed channel at the fold in the lower canopy before cascading down copper rain cups leading to a basin filled with river stones collected from the nearby Monongahela River.