aristech polypropylene technical center

75,000 square feet, New Construction
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aristech is a producer of industrial chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, intermediate chemicals, and specialty products. The company commissioned a new Polypropylene Technical Facility at the Pittsburgh Technology Center where BCJ has previously designed the Biotechnology Center of the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute.

Aristech will use the facility to demonstrate its products in a flexible environment that can be re-configured to model the differing fabrication processes of each customer. Applications laboratories are located on grade and accessible to loading and storage areas. A column-free, high bay space for fiber applications extends across the front of the building. A two-story lobby connects analytical labs on the second floor to the applications labs. Sales representatives, and others who need a place to work while visiting, have access to semi-private work areas, conference facilities, and a multipurpose room. 

A primary goal of the design of the building is to permit maximum flexibility in the uses and sizes of various functions. Thus, the building can adapt to future changes in both the marketplace and in production technologies via:

  • Analytical labs with changeable configurations of lab furniture, casework, and bay size.

  • Fume hood exhaust and supply chases sized to permit later additions.

  • Wet lab service chases are located to provide easy access for maintenance and modification.

  • Unassigned areas to permit anticipated growth.

Project with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Photography copyright Karl Backus