Pittsburgh – PPG Place

This is PPG Place in the heart of Pittsburgh, with what I consider to be an architecturally stunning building.

It’s the Head Office of what is now PPG Industries, although it was formerly known as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.

The building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and although it looks very modern, it was opened in 1983. Given the company’s heritage the heavy use of glass was perhaps inevitable, but the neo-Gothic style is just something quite special.

The building used just under 20,000 panes of glass in its construction, with PPG Place seemingly having been well received by locals when it was built. That sheer amount of glass is around one million square feet in size, with the whole project costing 200 million dollars back in the 1980s. That was a brave investment given the decline that Pittsburgh was suffering from at the time, although it appears to have been a financial success for the company.

There are 231 glass spires throughout the building complex and this is the main tower, standing 40 storeys in height. The whole set-up reminded me a glass version of the Palace of Westminster, and this was apparently asked of the designers, who said there were other buildings in the United States that were really their inspiration.

The centrepiece of the complex. All very lovely.