Wheaton Sprague was contracted by Met-Tec, Inc. to provide complete structural calculations, and related structural coordination and design for the aluminum sheet panel wall system and the connections to the backup structure for the innovatively designed August Wilson Center for African-American Art in Pittsburgh, PA. One of the unique features of this building and one of the unique challenges for Wheaton Sprague was the complex ‘sail’ designed feature wall.
The building is an expansive 67,000 s.f, the 2-floor facility designed by San Francisco-based architect, Allison G. Williams. Ms. Williams is a principal at the international design firm Perkins + Will. The project’s total cost was approximately $40 million.
The AWC houses a vibrant mix of cultural activities through engaging and interdisciplinary presentations. The building features a 500-seat proscenium theater for performances by local, national and international artists; a permanent exhibition gallery devoted to Western Pennsylvania’s African American cultural history; a changing exhibition gallery for the work of current African American visual artists and those of African descent; a Music Cafe’, featuring live Pittsburgh-based and national performances; as well as food of the African Diaspora; a gift store; classrooms and educational activity spaces for families, school children and adults; and a multi-purpose room that can be used for visual and performing art and community-based meetings and events.