After many years of academic training and professional experience both in the US and abroad, Gerard Damiani established studio d'ARC architects {SDA} in 1996 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an architect's collaborative to pursue the union of architectural ideas with the craft of building. The mission of the practice continues to be one of creating quality architectural projects which understand and celebrate both our post-industrial and agrarian context; one of history, unique building typologies, topography, as well as the present and future cultural context, the urgent need for sustainable thinking and our own building trades and traditions. By analyzing these conditions, both physical and cultural, their work strives to be thoughtful, well-considered and intrinsically linked to its place by creating architectural solutions that go beyond mere stylistic form-making or pragmatic problem-solving.

The firm has a body of work that responds to the unique qualities of region, site, program, budget, construction and environment. Their sensitivity to the found conditions of place, design process, use of humble materials, and cost effective solutions set them apart from other offices.

Many of SDA's projects utilize the found conditions of place as the starting point of the new formation. Even for projects of challenging constraints, efforts are made to select materials that are sensitive to the region and immediate site, environmentally thoughtful, low in maintenance and, at the same time, create aesthetically pleasing spaces that are energy efficient.

Whenever economically and technically possible, the use of recycled products and / or repurposed building materials are used to best work with their client's budget and life cycle costs. This approach allows each project to become a critical assessment of the found condition of its specific place, regional materials, its building tradition and the people who craft them, leading their work to be part of its place and not simply an imported style. Since every program, site and craft tradition is different, they always start from the region and provide solutions which harmonize with the specific nature of its place.

Gerard Damiani, AIA NCARB
Gerard Damiani is the founder and president of studio d'ARC architects, P.C. A graduate of Syracuse University where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors, Gerard is an NCARB certified, registered architect with professional licenses in New York and Pennsylvania. Since 1996 his work has focused on the reinterpretation and reformation of the post-industrial context of Pittsburgh into new environments specific to their twenty-first century uses -- from high-tech office spaces, residences, and collegiate spaces to artists' studios, architect/artist collaborations, and exhibition installations. These works, as well as new projects, continue to draw important clues from their context to find an architecture that is inseparable from its time, place and participants.

Since 1999 Gerard's work has resulted in many local awards from the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as well as Pittsburgh Magazine's Home of the Year (previously Superior Interiors) awards program for which the South Side Courtyard House graced the cover of the 2010 issue and his Live/Work Studio won in 2011. In 2007 & 2008 respectively, he received national recognition from the AIA Pennsylvania and National AIA for his Live/Work Studio II.

Gerard has also been recognized for his contributions to the region outside of awards programs. His work has been featured in U.S. and international architectural publications such as GreenSource Magazine (US), Azure Magazine (Canada), Architectural Review (UK), C3 (Korea), Elle Decoration (Romania), A Vivre (France), and later this year Dwell (US) for his residential work. In 2011 his Urban Biophilic Pavilion was featured in an international collection of rooftop living spaces in Cloud 9: Rooftop Architecture; in 2010, the Strawberry Way Public Art Installation, V24/7/365, was featured in Small Scale: Creative Solutions for Better City Living; and that same year the Live/Work Studio II was featured in the Encyclopedia of Detail in Contemporary Residential Architecture as well as gracing the cover of The Modernist House: Redefining Functionalism. His Live/Work Studio II was published in Architectural Review's January 2009 issue in an article devoted to a selection of houses from the 2008 AR Awards for Emerging Architects; it was also selected as one of six houses representing the current state of international residential architecture in Azure Magazine's Annual Houses issue published in January 2008, for which it was also selected as the cover image. In 2008 a number of his projects including the Live/Work Studio II were featured in the publication, Dream Homes Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In collaboration with sound artist Jeremy Boyle, he won the Phase II Strawberry Way Public Art Competition in downtown Pittsburgh in 2004. His own Live/ Work Studio II was on display as part of the Pittsburgh Platforms exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art's Heinz Architectural Center and From the Ground Up exhibition at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, both in 2003. In the spring of 2003, Gerard was selected as one of twenty-two individuals whose work in the built environment has lead to advancements in the visual arts in the Pittsburgh region. His installation entitled "An investigation into the particular" was on display at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2003 Biennial. His innovations in urban housing and construction techniques have been profiled in The City of Pittsburgh Development Report "Imagine the Possibilities" for 2001/2002. In 2000, he was chosen as one of "40 Under 40," an awards program created by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project) to recognize people who are positively impacting the Pittsburgh region.

Debbie Battistone
Since 1998, Debbie Battistone has been involved in many studio d'ARC projects including the adaptive re-use of the Goodyear Building at Dickinson College, The Attic at Gettysburg College, the Sportsworks proposal, and the Strawberry Way Public Art installation, "V 24 / 7 / 365" in downtown Pittsburgh. Since 2005, her role at SDA is as project manager / office manager where she acts as the day-to-day contact for many projects. She has been the project manager for the Sewickley Heights Residence / Barn Renovation / Silo Adaptive Re-use, the feasibility study for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Visitors Center, TRAX, the student social space at Susquehanna University and the Devonshire Street Residence, as well as a team member for the Mt. Washington Residence, Blackbird Artists Studios in Lawrenceville, the South Side Courtyard House, the Ho'ki'kwi Residence, as well as a new strawbale office building for a green general construction company/ development firm in Pittsburgh, which features many environmental strategies and materials in its design and construction.

Her background includes working as a staff urban designer and project manager for Urban Design Associates, a nationally recognized Pittsburgh-based urban design and planning firm where she managed public participatory urban design projects. Debbie received her undergraduate education in business, with a minor in architecture, from Carnegie Mellon University and her Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University.