MuseumLab opens in ruins of lightning-struck Pittsburgh library

It continued to serve as a public library until the clock tower was struck by lightning in 2006, causing a chunk of granite weighing three tons to fall through the roof. KEA's project sought to restore the damaged structure but also reveal the original architecture by peeling back the additions that had been made over the years. Collonades that form archways with ornamental details are now left in a weathered, unfinished state, with patchy surfaces and cracked or peeling renders. The Santa Monica firm added a white-mesh structure that forms a new staircase and elevated walkway topped by a skylight. One of the performing spaces is located in a room with brickwork walls and arched windows, while the ceiling is painted bright white to contrast darker details.