Burrowes Building

Context

The Burrowes Building by famed architect Charles Z. Klauder is sited as the eastern component of the Patee Mall. On a campus laden with memorable buildings, the original 4-story 1938 Burrowes core was jammed between two 5-story 1967 wings of equal height to the center four stories. The resulting building was impractical, inaccessible and the poor step sister to the Patee Library.

Community

With the financial impracticality of removing the unfortunate wings, BLTa inverted the Penn State RFP’s intended order of redevelopment and called for complete demolition of the existing connecting links, replacing them with crystalline connectors called “knuckles”.  These celebratory spaces provide full height atrium, wrapped with vertical circulation, becoming the drivers of the academic community.

Return on Design

By showcasing the faculty from the Department of English and the School of Languages and Literatures, the Burrowes Building impacts a majority of the 38,000 member student body in University Park. Occupying prime space on the Patee mall, the completed building will gain 10% in net assignable space, improve circulation and sense of community throughout the building, and will restore luster to a compositional gem.

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