Note: Click main images below for further description in caption

Penn Mathilda Apartments

Multli-family Residential | Completed with mossArchitects LLC, 2014-16

The Penn Mathilda Apartments is a 39-unit mixed-use building intended for Veterans and low-income households. The building is approximately 41,900 sf with four retail spaces and parking on the ground floor and two floors of 1- and 2-bedroom residential above, including basic support spaces like management offices and a shared community room for residents. Systems and envelope design seek to exceed code minimums by 10%. Facade components include phenolic panels, corrugated metal siding, brick veneer, and steel accents.


- Completed Design Development drawings and Construction Documents
- Worked with a specification writer to develop full project specifications
- Made drawing revisions and value-engineering decisions through a negotiated contract with the General Contractor
- Served as project manager during construction phase
- Reviewed submittals, RFI’s, and merit of requests for change order
- Issued supplemental drawings and schedules as required during construction
- Conducted owner-architect-contractor site meetings and created meeting minutes to distribute to project team
- Made decisions in the field to resolve coordination issues or unforeseen conditions

Y Hotel (ACE Hotel) Pittsburgh

Hospitality | Completed with mossArchitects LLC, 2013 | Interior Design by Atelier ACE

The Y Hotel is a renovation of a East Liberty’s historic YMCA building, and went through several stages of life, starting out as loft condominiums and finally coming to fruition as the Pittsburgh extension of the ACE Hotel chain. Exterior masonry was restored, windows were replaced along with custom brickmoulds to match the historic windows, and the main interior spaces such as the lobby, gym, and corridor features were largely preserved, including a basement pool to be renovated in a later phase. The building is approximately 65,720 sf and contains 63 hotel rooms and a full kitchen in the basement.


- Documented existing building conditions
- Coordinated design-build systems design in planning stages with architectural features
- Reviewed complicated code issues related to the existing building and current exiting requirements
- Developed exterior details for historic review, including exterior stair tower, exit stairs, platform lift, and entrance canopy
- Developed interior corridor details for historic review
- Constructed a full-scale mockup of hotel room furniture feature based on interior design team’s drawings with a colleague

Carnegie Museum of Art Exhibition: "Small Prints: Big Artists: Faked/Forgotten/Found" Exhibition

Cultural/Civic | Completed with mossArchitects LLC, 2013-14 | Photography by Bryan Conley with CMOA

“Small Prints: Big Artists: Faked/Forgotten/Found” was a exhibition design for the Heinz Galleries of the Carnegie Museum of Arts (CMOA). The exit was two parts: one containing lesser-known works (small prints and line drawings) from renound artists, such as Piranesi, and second which displayed the front and back of four key paintings, pointing out how museum curators can determine if works are original or reproductions. mossArchitects worked with CMOA to plan the exhibit layout, schedules, and construction details.


- Drew the layout of each individual work in plan and elevation to confirm available display space (based on a detailed list of works and frame sizes by CMOA)
- Created a finish schedule and chose millwork profiles to add “period character” to the exhibit
- Developed construction documents for temporary partitions based on CMOA recommendations
- Designed and developed details for circular centerpiece of the “Faked/Forgotten/Found” Exhibit

2014 UBCJA Design-Build Competition

Design-Build Competition, UBCJA Training Center | Completed with partners Anthony Lester & Steve McGinley

Each year the Pittsburgh chapter of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America holds a design-build competition between teams of a young architect or intern, a young contractor, and a graduating carpenter apprentice from the UBCJA program. The 2-week project brief was to build a mini-golf hole themed to a carpenter trade per team; our team was assigned Commerical Carpentry. The “architect” designed the project with contractor/carpenter input; the contractor bid the job (i.e. verified material quantities vs. provided items and extra items to be purchased with the $100 budget); and the UBCJA approved the design and purchased all materials, which were provided on-site for the 8-hour design-build day. On the design-build day, the carpenter took the lead in constructing the project, though the whole team participated with construction.


- Conducted brainstorming sessions with the team for project ideas & direction
- Coordinated design decisions with team to enhance constructability
- Drew “construction documents” to be used on the build day and for competition approval
- Chose finishes (paint) for the project
- Helped build the design, including cuts, wood slats, painting, plinko board, & flag installation.

Five on 47th (Plummer 47 Residences)

Single-family Residential | Completed with mossArchitects LLC, 2014-16

The Plummer 47 Residences consists of 5 townhouses on individual lots. Although the project is in a high-density zoning area, it required variances for setbacks & height to feasibly build-out the site. Each unit ranges from 1440 to 2360 square feet and features a ground floor garage for 1 or 2 cars (at end units), a main living floor with open plan, 2-3 bedrooms, and a roof deck with views to the city skyline. The middle three units feature a small rear yard, one of which is only a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit and was included as a lower price point unit per community organization requests. Materials include ground-face concrete masonry at the ground floor and a mix of corrugated metal siding and cement board panels above. 


- Developed project conceptual design & schematics
- Helped present design to community groups in support of required zoning variances
- Presented design & finishes to client at various stages of project development
- Presented revised design to Zoning committee
- Coordinated structural & civil consultant drawings
- Developed full Construction Documents in Revit

IN PROGRESS: Kenmore Residence

Single-family Residential | Completed with mossArchitects LLC, 2014-15

This renovation project expands an early 1900’s railroad workers’ house to include an enlarged kitchen & living space on the ground floor and the addition of a master suite on the 2nd floor. The design started as a modern box ‘tacked-on’ to the side of the existing simple gable form, with the gable form cleaned up to modern lines in a minimalist aesthetic. Upon further evaluation and suggestion of the contractor, the design evolved into a full extension of the existing 2nd floor volume, instead of just at the addition area. This move took several rounds of design to achieve the final scheme but simplified construction and maximized available space. mossArchitects’ role was primarily development of the schematic layout, CD’s for facade and other critical items, and coordinating structural work. The client self-managed construction activities and all interior finishes, with some architect direction.


- Developed schematic design through 3D Sketchup models, physical models, and plan studies

- Completed the limited construction documents set with the office’s first use of Revit

- Coordinated rough framing construction issues with structural engineer on site

- Responded to construction-phase questions from client

The Barnes Foundation: Journey to the Barnes

The Barnes Collection consists of numerous works by famous artists that when seen compiled in his unique exhibition, make a priceless collection. This project is a proposed relocation of the museum along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Also required was an educational area, including a library, classrooms, and auditorium.


The design makes a conscious decision to present the Barnes collection in a more typical manner, with the exception of the main Barnes gallery, which is reconstructed in its entirety. This gallery is a culmination of Barnes’ collection and display, and is used as a destination within the new museum.


Further description accompanies each image.

2010 Hajjar Competition: Painting a Residence

This annual charrette called for a guesthouse for residents of 1145 Dorum Avenue, who own the adjacent property of 281 Osmond Street. The house is based off of 4 paintings from the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia. Rather than creating individual rooms based solely off of their intended painting, the design adopts an open plan that relates the works as a whole. The house is embedded into the hillside and faces south.

A number of sustainable ideas were also incorporated, including Green Roofs over the rear portion and the mass of the hill stablize indoor temperatures, Massive Walls, both freestanding and the kitchen core, to maintain thermal stability, screen Roof Construction to allow indirect natural light to fill the space, and Flooring Materials to retain thermal energy in the southern end of the house.


Further description accompanies each image.


*Images of Monet's and Cezannes works are used for conceptual purposes only.

Lewistown Revitalization Project [with Sustainable Housing Project]

The masterplan focuses on taking advantage of local resources and the outdoors of the area, and reorganizes the Mifflin County Industrial Devlopment Company (MCIDC) Plaza to function as a hub for outdoor activities in the region. The plan proposes a ski slope on the prominent Shade Mountain, improved city connections via shuttle buses and improved street intersection conditions, and a mainstreet in the Plaza supporting retail and dining. New proposed program in the Plaza includes an outdoor center, youth center, bar & brewery, hotel, and mixed-use.


The masterplan was developed as a 3-person team, including Emily Halm, Amanda Montemore, and myself.

Individual building projects were further developed in the final 6 weeks of the project. Additional site development of the MCIDC Plaza was proposed by a group of 3 landscape architecture students at Penn State as part of the masterplan, not pictured in this portfolio.


The sustainable housing project was developed in response to the new mainstreet in the MCIDC Plaza. It seeks to provide some of the density required to support the new activity while also emphasizing the relationship of living to the streetlife. The building is divided into two wings, creating a shared "courtyard" between. Units share circulation between them, allowing for full cross ventilation in all units.


Further description accompanies each image.

Other Notable Projects [not pictured for copyright reasons and/or confidentiality]

The Hendler

300+ unit apartment development with elevated courtyards and adaptive reuse of historic Hendler Creamery Facade

Currently in progress with Design Collective, Inc.

Sheraton Lakefront Columbia

Addition, facade improvements, and interior remodel of a Columbia Maryland hotel

Currently in progress with Design Collective, Inc.

Monroeville Residence

Modern single-family home with bold form

Design contribution while formerly with mossArchitects, LLC

Godfrey Landing Residence

Modern single-family home along the Allegheny River near Freeport, PA

Design contribution while formerly with mossArchitects, LLC

© 2013 - 2019 Nathaniel H Rice. All rights reserved.

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