We’re pleased to announce that the Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons at Ramapo College and the revitalization of Wilkes-Barre Public Square were honored at the recent AIA Northeastern Pennsylvania ceremony.
AIA Northeastern Pennsylvania held its annual banquet and biennial design awards on Friday, November 17, celebrating a variety of regional projects as well as work its membership has completed throughout the state and beyond. The Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons at Ramapo College of New Jersey won an Award of Excellence, while the Wilkes-Barre Public Square revitalization was recognized with an Honor Award in the Small Projects category.
The 80,000-square-foot Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons–an expansion and reimagining of Ramapo College’s 1970s-era library–combines an array of resources for campus-wide use, including state-of-the-art classrooms, media rooms, on-site technology resources, and more. A striking glass-paneled oculus brings natural light through the building’s upper two floors and visually connects visitors to the activity happening within. Project collaborators included CVM (Structural/Envelope), Vanderweil (M/E/P/FP/IT/AV/Lighting/Security Engineer), Dirtworks (Landscape), and Langan (Civil Engineer), with photography by Christian Phillips.
In our work to revitalize Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square, we first addressed needed site and landscape enhancements, including new path layouts, restored benches, and a new gathering space with movable café furniture. Next, we focused on the amphitheater on the southwest corner of the park, where we repurposed the existing backdrop structure to create a permanent bandshell made of steel and wood. Inspired by the geometry of the existing truss backdrop and suspending from the structure, it now acts as a billboard for the city. GPI provided structural, electrical, and civil engineering services for the project.
Founding Principal Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA, was the evening’s guest speaker. In addition to the Design Awards, AIA NEPA announced its Annual Scholarship winners.