About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

Latest Post

Strada Elevates Five Stradistas!


The future is bright at Strada. The firm is committed to turning visions to reality and helping to shape new places across the nation.



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Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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325 Chestnut Street
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Philadelphia, PA 19106

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1011 South Hamilton Rd
Suite 201
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

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Street Talk

Fresh ideas about design

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The lowly metal lid

05.2014Design, Ideas, Places
By Ray McCaughey, RA

Designers of all stripes take mental pictures all the time. They build mental catalogs of elements of the world that many take for granted, or never notice at all. Designers like details that inspire them, or things that they note are beautiful, because adding those touches to an environment pays the design-karma forward.

Today’s example from the urban landscape is the lowly metal cap known around the world as “the manhole.”

Manholes. Pretty exciting stuff, heh?

Try browsing here.


Back so soon? OK, as you can see, sometimes grungy, sometimes beautiful, and in many cases, they may stop you in your tracks and get you pointing a camera at them.

Travel some streets in your own neighborhood or city. Have you ever wondered at the metal lids keeping the secrets of the underworld safe from prying eyes?

Look at the tree grates. Examine the hydrants. Your own neighborhood may be full of hundreds of hours worth of craft and workmanship spent on the “necessary infrastructure” that makes a street so complex and exciting.

But be careful, once you start building your mental catalog of fun details, it is hard to stop.

Take a peek at more lids of inspiration.

Ray McCaughey has practiced architecture faithfully two hours a day for over 30 years, excepting when he is at a film marathon. Beyond the world of architecture, Ray plays the piano badly, but redeems himself with fun illustrations, cartoons, and graphic designs. He has won competitions with his graphic submissions and even designed logos for commercial brands. In the community of tabletop RPG games, he has another secret identity, but we can’t tell you what it is.

Strada Elevates Five Stradistas!

By StreetTalk Editor

The future is bright at Strada. The firm is committed to turning visions to reality and helping to shape new places across the nation.

Transforming Buildings and Spaces for Life Sciences

04.2022Design, Ideas, Places, Stradistas POV
By George Poulin, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Working with researchers to design their facilities is a highly satisfying process. We’ve been fortunate to work within many of Philadelphia’s most iconic buildings to create spaces to foster the next generation of scientific discovery.