Joe’s Café

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Joe’s Cafe, located at the entrance to Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, was expanded through a total renovation that enabled it to better serve the Wharton community. The new cafe supports collegiality and study space while also supporting the prestigious brand that is associated with the school. The main dining area is gracious with eighteen-foot-high ceilings, full-height windows, and a steel trellis that extends as a garden pavilion while providing shade for the interior. In addition to accommodating daily use by students and faculty, the layout cleverly created a self-contained area that is also used for receptions and private events.

Steinberg Hall was the last commission of the famed McKim, Mead and White and our approach sought to complement its severe stripped-down classicism. The project also included a new three-story addition that provided offices, conference spaces, a reconfigured reprographics center, a new office suite, public restrooms, a vending area, and two new accessible entries. The important landscape of Hamilton Walk, designed by Andropogon in the 1960’s, was also a key factor in our work.

This is first LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors Certified project at the university. Sustainable factors include maximizing daylighting and views as well as landscaping incorporating native species, which are drought tolerant and require minimal watering. Light sensors save energy by dimming lamps when there is enough ambient light, and thermal temperature is operable to help enhance occupant comfort. The menu, composting, and cleaning methods all helped with the attaining the certification.

Landscape completed in association with Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects, Inc.


LEED CI Gold Certified


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Size: 9,000 sf
Budget: $3 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Sustainability

Joe’s Café

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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