WILLIAM J. BATES

American Institute of Architects

SAY IT LOUD - Pennsylvania Exhibitor

Pennsylvania Based Designer

Committed to using his experience in the corporate realm to enhance the role and value of the architect beyond traditional expectations, Bill has dedicated his professional energies and personal time to the Institute and the communities where he lives.

WILLIAM J. BATES

Bio:

Committed to using his experience in the corporate realm to enhance the role and value of the architect beyond traditional expectations, Bill has dedicated his professional energies and personal time to the Institute and the communities where he lives. Early in his career he became active in the AIA, holding leadership positions that supported his interest in a more inclusive profession. Bill also challenged the AIA to focus design attention on the needs of its communities and propelled those initiatives by leveraging corporate, government and charitable

resources to underwrite those programs.

Featured Project Name: 

African Heritage Classroom

 

Featured Project Location: 

University of Pittsburgh 

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

December 17, 1989

Role in Featured Project: 

Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

The African Heritage Classroom was designed to reflect an 18th-century Asante temple courtyard in Ghana which would provide the setting for ceremonial events, learning, and worship. The classroom represents the entire continent of Africa with Yoruba-style door carvings by Nigerian sculptor Lamidi O. Fakeye depicting ancient kingdoms of Africa including Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, Benin, Kongo/Angola, Kuba, Mali, and Zimbabwe. Plaster forms in the frieze represent the arts, music, science, languages, and literature of Africa. A display case housing artifacts from various African nations and the chalkboard area reflect patIos around the courtyard. Below the chalkboard doors depicting the Igbo lozenge and star motif are Sankofa birds which symbolize the need to learn from the past in order to prepare for the future. The oxblood steps, two levels of student benches, and wainscot with relief decorations suggest the polished clay of an Asante temple. Openwork screens are present on the windows as they are used in Asante structures to filter the sun’s rays while allowing air flow. Six chieftain stools provide informal seating near a hand-carved professor’s lectern.

Photography Credit:

University of Pittsburgh

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