Ferric railing complements design concept at Theological Seminary

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Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate theological school of the Presbyterian Church, located on a captivating 13-acre campus in the East Liberty/ Highland Park area, just east of the city of Pittsburgh. When the seminary officials sought to renovate the campus’s Barbour Library building, they looked to Pittsburgh-based architecture firm LGA Partners, LP, to modernize the facility without sacrificing the timeless nature of the campus.

Railing System: Ferric railing system
Location: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, PA
Architect: LGA Partners
Contractor: PJ Dick Trumbull Corp

As part of their design process, the architects looked to introduce open-plan concepts in the public areas, proposing the addition of a centralized skylight over a two-story atrium at the main lobby.  Challenged by the Seminary to provide a sense of awe in the double-height space, LGA turned to HDI Railings for a glass railing solution.  HDI’s Ferric railing system with tempered glass infill panels provided both beauty and high light transmittance that complements the large skylight overhead.

With initial estimates exceeding the Seminary’s budget, LGA looked to manage the construction cost by shortening the project’s overall duration.  With speed being of the essence, HDI proved to be an excellent solution.  Only four weeks after the initial site measure, HDI was able to ship the Ferric post mounts for the Barbour Library. With the install of post mounts being done concurrently with the fabrication of the Ferric railings, the customer was provided with the finished railing system in only eight weeks.

The Ferric railing system is constructed with mechanical threaded connections to ensure an exact and secure fitting. All railings are fully assembled in HDI’s Pennsylvania factory and then deconstructed into fully assembled sections to ensure efficient installation.

The Seminary and LGA Partners were both very pleased with how the Ferric railing system complemented the project’s overall design concept. “The challenge was in striking the right balance between a contemporary design and a more traditional sensibility. The Ferric system fit perfectly with our design intent, providing a transitional and timeless aesthetic,” said Sean Sheffler, AIA, project manager for LGA Partners. The Ferric railing system is installed along the grand staircase as well as the second story atrium opening which overlooks the main lobby area.

The glass infill allows natural light to pass through with remarkable clarity creating a space that feels bright and boundless. Ferric posts are constructed from open pairs of steel true bar, powder coated in a dark bronze finish to complement the wood paneling throughout the Barbour Library’s main entrance.

When it comes to choosing the best materials, designs, and styles for library applications, innovative solutions are often necessary. By using pre-engineered railing systems from HDI, installation time frames stay manageable and convenient. Best of all, HDI designs have a show-stopping effect when incorporated into a contemporary setting.


HDI offers everything you need to create the ideal railing system for your next project. Our extensive experience and commitment to clients has led to new solutions, including LEED Certification and guaranteed building code compliance services. To find out which services our skilled sales support team can provide for your next project, please see the link below.

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