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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A New College House Experience Welcomes Penn Students

The recently completed New College House West embraces the many layers of community that define the collegiate experience at Penn.

“As the University leadership was thinking about what this new house could bring, it wasn’t just about a space for bodies, but about how to make it vibrant. And connected not just to the Penn campus, but also to West Philadelphia. It’s an open door, if you will, and it’s being good neighbors.”
Lisa Lewis, Faculty Director, College Houses and Academic Services

New College House West creates a unique residential community at the University of Pennsylvania, providing a variety of amenities and services while integrating campus life with urban context. As the second purpose-built college house completed by our practice for Penn, the 250,000 GSF, 450-bed project builds upon the program set forth in a campus-wide development plan to create a vital new addition to residential housing at the university.

Circulation and gathering areas throughout New College House West and its outdoor spaces are designed to foster community– encouraging interaction and engagement between occupants as well as with the campus and surrounding city. The project supports student wellness by drawing in daylight and offering sweeping views of the lawn and city. Furthermore, the building provides areas for a range of activities, including lounges, a fitness and wellness center, music practice rooms, classrooms and seminar rooms, study rooms, communal kitchens, a coffee shop, and Quaker Kitchen – designed to facilitate programming focused on food preparation and nutrition.

The completion of New College House West follows the success of Lauder College House, which opened in 2016. Both projects function as gateway buildings for the university, weaving city and campus together through the thoughtful treatment of building mass, materials, neighborhood-friendly outdoor spaces, and landscape. At the western edge of campus between Locust Walk, a primary pedestrian pathway, and a major east-west artery into Center City, New College House West responds to both urban and campus context through the placement of its residential tower and sensitively-scaled wings that wrap the public central lawn.

New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
© Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro
New College House West © Jeffrey Totaro