Jury prize

Uber Advanced Technologies Group, Pittsburgh

Designed by: Assembly Design Studio
For client: Uber Floor area: 7450.00 M² Year of completion: 2016
Awarded: Large Office of the Year Jury

Assembly Uatc2 4151 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

All-hands/Showroom looking into the break area and machine shop

About the Project

Uber opened the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) Center in Pittsburgh to research and develop solutions for mapping, vehicle safety, and autonomous transportation. Pittsburgh’s long history of cutting-edge production technology and manufacturing the most essential machines of its age matched perfectly Uber’s desire to launch and build its first self-driving vehicle. This idea of marrying the past and future became the design inspiration.

Uber envisioned this space as a cathedral to the values of industry—hard work, dedication, creativity. At the head of the plan’s central nave is the showroom which acts as a kind of altar to the autonomous car. Everything here is white - stark white, from the bleached pine stadium seating canted slightly, looking out a curtain wall at the Allegheny River, to the granite fireplace, warming the space on snowy, winter days.

Drawing inspiration from the “City of Steel”, Assembly wanted to both contrast and complement the bright white of a showroom by warming the space with colors and materials associated with the industrial era. The worn corten steel frames, glass walkways, and natural grain of local hardwoods all echo the city’s former glory.

What’s unique about it

Unlike a typical office, this space is for builders. With ample desk room and a table between every pack of workstations, each person can work 360 degrees. Every work area has room for toolboxes, carts, and, of course, prototypes. There are studio spaces, designed for teams of six to brainstorm and hash out specific projects over a set period of time. Each space has an informal area, two small conference rooms, and six workstations.
Housed beyond the rows of workstations and studios is a fully-functional machine shop. Autonomous cars are engineered, built, and tested. After receiving final, finishing touches, they are driven across white tiles into the main central nave. Merging the machine shop with the showroom is a testament that designing with function in mind first can still take an elevated, stunning form.
From the “Tunnel of the Future”, lined with an evolving series of prototypes, serving as a reminder that success is a process of iteration, to the corten laser cut panels, framed in smoked glass, depicting the birthplace of Uber and ATG, the “City of the Future” may be a place where the vehicles of both design and function may be a thing of the past.

Assembly Atc 1374 Rev V2
© Jasper Sanidad

Lobby/Entrance to the "Tunnel of the Future"

Assembly Atc 0958 Rev1
© Jasper Sanidad

"Tunnel of the Future"

Assembly Atc 1105 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

Open Collaboration/Corten steel panels depicting a map of Pittsburgh

Assembly Atc 1634 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad


Assembly Uatc2 1890 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

Open Collaboration showing a Bec Brittain fixture and an airplane turbine custom table.

Assembly Atc 1558 Omar Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

Granite Fireplace

Assembly Uatc2 1944 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

Machine Shop

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© Jasper Sanidad

Blackened steel bridge connecting the two wings of the open office.

Assembly Uatc2 2029 Rev
© Jasper Sanidad

Reception/Blackened steel cladded panels and custom steel desk

Assembly Design Studio

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