Offering new ways of exploring and connecting with the world

The University of Pittsburgh wanted to create a space that celebrated international cultures, promoted connection, and encouraged exploration. To achieve this, we designed the Global Hub with a human-centric approach that prioritized the needs of both employees and visitors.

The existing space in Wesley W. Posvar Hall presented a challenge due to its location as a major through-way, but Strada’s analysis revealed circulation paths and occupiable space.

We added an internal stair to fully incorporate the existing five-story light-well, providing a welcoming connection to the second-floor study lounge and breaking the vast volume of the light-well to create a human-scale space. Screens, fixed furniture, lighting, and floor treatments were thoughtfully placed to shape intimate spaces without obscuring sightlines or circulation, while privacy needs were met with the addition of three enclosed nooks.

The colors, textures, and patterns of the Global Hub were carefully chosen to create a delicate blend of international influences, giving a sense of many cultures without directly connecting to any one in particular. An interactive media wall invites users to learn more about programs that match their interests, while a two-story experience wall exhibits abstract time displays and showcases videos and information about various locations around the world.

The Global Hub is a testament to Pitt’s growing international connection and serves as an invitation to join them in exploration. With a focus on human-centric design, the space ensures that employees and visitors have a meaningful experience.

I see the Global Hub as a completely unique space on campus that is simultaneously lively and eye-catching while also welcoming and comfortable. The selection of color palette and furnishings support the university’s goals of having an inviting space where students will want to stay awhile.

Karen Yan Lue Pitt Global Hub Manager

Students and passers-by are drawn into the space and can then choose whether they want to lounge in the Living Room and learn about different countries around the world, speak with an advisor in a nook, or join a language table. The Hub design allows for diverse types of programming while also maintaining a sense of community (no walls or doors) and familiarity.

Karen Yan Lue Pitt Global Hub Manager