Collaborative Learning Areas

The Challenge

Client The Pennsylvania State University
Size 16,000 SF
Role Architect, Interior Designer

Higher education institutions increasingly face space management challenges to address continued growth in enrollment. A strategy to provide additional space and increased value to existing infrastructure is to convert underutilized space into a campus amenity.

Results - Outdoor Study Area

Before and After

A portion of the site occupied by outdated electrical services and undesirable parking was removed and regraded to create an outdoor study area sympathetic to the historic fabric. This removed an unsightly visage thus re-invigorating the student use, and improving the overall perception of the building, all without losing usable space or at the cost of new construction.

Results - Collaborative Learning Commons

At the PSU Ritenour Building, the lower level had many unused rooms due to abandoned utilities and outdated infrastructure. Removing intrusive elements and connecting the university campus wide systems, the University was able to create a new student collaborative amenity, with new modern facilities eagerly embraced by the students and immediately, extensively used when opened.