Commonwealth Chateau

Chestnut Hill College | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Previously known as Sugarloaf, The Commonwealth Chateau was built as a private estate in 1925, modernized in the 1950’s when the lodge was added, and converted into a Temple University conference center in 1969. Chestnut Hill College, however, purchased the historic building in 2006 to accommodate increased enrollment.

VMA designed a two-phase renovation for the building’s modernization. The first would convert the guest lodge into student housing. The second would transform the mansion into a multi-purpose facility with classrooms, a dining hall, and the amenities necessary to host conferences and events.

In the conversion, the Lodge became co-educational housing with 32 rooms with private bathrooms for upperclassmen and a student lounge in the adjacent building. Interior improvements to the Mansion required enlarging the existing dining room and upgrading the commercial kitchen so that it could serve both students and special events, creating classrooms that could double as conference retreat rooms, and providing accessibility throughout the mansion with reconfigured corridors, renovated restrooms, and a new elevator sensitively inserted into the existing building.

Historic finishes were preserved and restored to retain the character and history of the building, with new finishes complementing the existing features. The 1950’s changes to the front facade were removed. With that done, the original design was reconstructed based on information gleaned from archived drawings and photos.

Interior Design completed in association with Executive Interiors.

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Size: 17,200 sf
Budget: $4.9 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Historical Preservation

Commonwealth Chateau

Chestnut Hill College | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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