18th Annual Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show
1999 Dream Home Entry Enhancements

The installation site of the centerpiece "Dream Home" for Pittsburgh's annual Home & Garden Show is in reality a storage room, commandeered annually for the purpose. On weekends, over 1,400 people per hour tour the "Dream Home" creating long queue lines. With rental floor space at a premium in the main exhibition hall, the requisite queue space is accommodated in the adjacent loading dock area.

The 1999 Dream Home was a full-scale model construction of Frank Lloyd Wright's 1953 un-built Point View Residence apartment. In consideration of this significant installation, it was decided to aesthetically "enhance" the entry sequence. The design had to assemble quickly, as only six hours was to be available from the time the last eighteen-wheeler rolled away from the dock until a black-tie cocktail party previewed the Dream Home. Additionally, the enhancements would have to be de-mountable in two hours at the close of the show, and also be re-usable for subsequent shows for at least the next three years. The design and fabrication of the enhancements were accomplished in just ten days within tight budgetary requirements.

The project is designed entirely with 4 x 8-foot sheets of common particleboard, scored into 2-foot square modules on the face. Available exhibition platform framing and fabric drape were also utilized for speed of erection and economy. The entry through the loading dock roll-up doors was framed with particleboard pylons. Fabric draping was hung from the ceiling as identity banners visible throughout the exhibition hall, while concealing the roll-up doors above. Live plants were incorporated to establish a more permanent impression. Staging was used in the loading dock pit to raise the floor level, and to create individual vignettes which featured furniture and accessories of the Frank Lloyd Wright Decorative Designs Collection.

Frames with track lighting were suspended from the structure above to give a more human scale to the area. Since building regulations prohibited the use of fasteners to secure temporary installations to the building, high-strength adhesive foam tape was utilized to secure panels to the concrete block wall along the loading ramp. The 2 x 2-foot modular pattern of the various elements created a cohesive and integrated design statement, which totally concealed the underlying loading dock function of the location. A local architectural tourism initiative was promoted by way of display panels, which were designed to the architect's specifications to fit into the modular wall system.

Unlike the banal environs of previous years, crowds queuing in the long lines to visit the 1999 Dream Home were able to occupy their time viewing the furniture and accessories on the stages, and reading the various display panels. The installation was successfully de-mounted at the conclusion of the 1999 show, and will be re-installed in subsequent years.