ROBYN ENGEL

IKM Inc.

SAY IT LOUD - Pennsylvania Exhibitor

Pennsylvania Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Besides other architecture, I am inspired by graphic novels and the written word. The ability of comics to articulate space and create a backdrop for narrative is incredible.

ROBYN ENGEL

Bio:

Robyn Engel is a practicing architect at the firm IKM Inc. in Pittsburgh. She has worked on a diverse spectrum of projects, including Civic, Healthcare, and Higher Education work. Her current research passion is adaptive leadership toolkits, as informed by systems and design thinking, with a splash of chaos theory for good measure. She is a voracious reader and enjoys building relationships that strengthen her project teams.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I didn’t discover architecture until my freshman year at Penn State when I was unhappy as a biology major. I was home for Thanksgiving break and my best friend’s mom, an interior designer, suggested architecture - it was a light bulb moment.

What do you do?

The short answer is that I work to make a difference. The messier answer is that I forge relationships, build dreams, and work magic to help craft a tiny piece of this backdrop we live in.

What excites you in the work you do?

The people. My coworkers, our clients, artist collaborators, our industry partners - being able to find others with mutual respect and passion for the work is endlessly thrilling.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Besides other architecture, I am inspired by graphic novels and the written word. The ability of comics to articulate space and create a backdrop for narrative is incredible.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

When this project won both the AIA Pittsburgh People’s Choice award in 2017 as well as a Design Merit award. At a fresh point in my career, this felt like validation of my path to architecture and a marker of my growth.

Featured Project Name: 

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Annex

 

Featured Project Location: 

Pittsburgh, PA

Featured Project Completion Date: 

August 2016

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Designer

 

Featured Project Description:

Form and articulation of the exterior adopt a figurative interpretation of dance, all while putting dancing on display. The solid base at street level allows the transparent second floor to soar. Shifting planes move past one another. The focus of wood siding at the entrance directs attention to the unified entry. Inside, the two-story atrium hosts the hustle and bustle of professional dancers, students, and community members mingling on route to the new studios and fitness center.

Photography Credit:

Adam Warner, Ed Massery

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