Council of Three Rivers Family Center

The Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC) Family Support Center is a non-profit dedicated to working with families to help parents cope with the challenges of parenting and preventing child abuse. When we were completing the Hazelwood Neighborhood Center, we were approached by COTRAIC to complete a tenant fit-out in the leased space. 

Key components for COTRAIC’s new home are kitchen space for children and adults, a parent’s lounge, a gross motor play area including hopscotch, four square, and basketball, a young teen area, an infant exploration lounge, a computer corner, and a water table for water-play. Children use the space, ranging in age from infants to early high school.

The interior space is filled with non-toxic, healthy materials and provides opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Special attention was paid to the floor finishes so that they are both durable and easy to clean.

AIA Pittsburgh, Award of Excellence in Sustainable Design, Oct 2015


  • 2,806 sq ft
  • Built for $45 per sq ft for tenant fit-out
  • Located in building designed to Passive House retrofit standards

“Thoughtful Balance is a great firm. They are more than just the architect that draws the plans. They listen to your ideas and transform them into a greatly designed space. Thoughtful Balance works with you every step of the way, from color schemes to furniture purchase and placement. It is a pleasure to work with Laura and her staff.”

Debbie Gallagher, Early Head Start/Family Center Director 

“The project demonstrates the potential in creative planning by increasing the useable size of an existing building and reducing the environmental impact at the same time. Metrics matter and this building made a point of demonstrating what the metrics of its sustainable design yielded.” 

Jury, AIA Awards