University of Pennsylvania Law School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The second phase of VMA’s 2006 comprehensive facilities plan for the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School called for the reconfiguration and renovation of the library, admissions suite, and surrounding support spaces, located on the first and second floors of Tanenbaum Hall.
VMA sought a design that would present subtle distinctions between academic and social spaces and communicate and accommodate the dynamic and fluid character of the school’s intellectual community and work. VMA’s plan, in other words, would reaffirm that lecture and discussion are not confined to the classroom, library, or computer labs but can occur anywhere.
VMA’s design, therefore, distributes spaces for study and collegiality throughout the school. The project included new faculty offices, four new seminar rooms, a computer lab, and a suite of offices for IT services. Corridors are provided with tables and chairs to create flexible spaces for individual and group study, but also gathering for breaks. Abundant interior glazing helps blur the notion of rigidly-defined spaces for academics and socializing, creating a sense of openness and interaction in a space traditionally separated. To support the theme of transparency in the school’s institutional mission, the new Admissions suite and adjacent open student lounge, both visible and private from each other, let prospective students feel like a part of the Penn Law community at their very first visit.
Interior Design completed in assocIation with Executive Interiors
Size: 26,5000 sf
Budget: $2.6 million