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.



Pittsburgh Studio

611 William Penn Place
Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

p: 412.263.3800
f: 412.471.5704

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Philadelphia Studio

325 Chestnut Street
Suite 909
Philadelphia, PA 19106

p: 215.440.0190
f: 215.440.0197

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Triangle Studio

1011 South Hamilton Rd
Suite 201
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

p: 919.521.8022

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From A Nondescript Warehouse To A Light-Filled, Modern Arts Facility

About this project

The Howard Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art facility for the visual and performing arts at Roman Catholic High School (RCHS). The Howard Center for the Arts is Phase I of a four-phased, $25 million, transformational initiative which will provide an innovative, 21st Century education for Roman’s students. The first phase included the renovation of a nondescript 1940’s warehouse building to transform it into a light-filled and modern facility for fine and performing arts as well as digital photography and videography.

The Center contains gathering spaces, mixed media classrooms, a piano lab, a digital arts studio, a band room, practice rooms, and offices for instructors on the second floor. Parking is accommodated on the first floor. A major component of the design of the new space is the creation of a Black Box Theater. All performing arts, music, choral, and drama programs now practice, perform, and exhibit their artistic works in this intimate setting. The space is also available to local Philadelphia arts groups.

The existing 2-story warehouse building presented multiple challenges including low ceiling heights and roof structure, limited access to natural light, inefficient HVAC systems and the need to accommodate large scale functions within its existing footprint. The Design Team decided to flip the initial program from the first to the second floor to help solve the design challenges. With the program on the second floor, the ceiling structure was left exposed to provide greater volumes. The roof of the structure was lifted in several areas to accommodate the black box theater and band room. Windows were enlarged and skylights added to flood the building with natural light into the rooms and corridors.

The Howard Center for the Arts is the realization of Phase I of Roman Catholic High School’s Vision of Promise plan – a four-phased, $25 million, transformational initiative which will provide an innovative, 21st Century education for Roman’s students.

The new, 21st Century campus is anchored around the original historic school building, which has been in continuous use since 1890. Located just off the Avenue of the Arts, North, The Howard Center provides space for Roman’s Fine and Performing Arts programs.

Mifflin School

Lincoln Place, Pittsburgh