• Client

    University of Pennsylvania
  • Project Area

    5,100 square feet
  • Completion Date


Flexibility and transparency support collaboration in a variety of new spaces for Penn Carey Law School students.

Our team transformed former library stacks and administrative offices into a shared suite for the school’s six law journals. Previously distributed throughout the law school campus, the journal existing spaces varied considerably in size, quality, and accessibility. The new project establishes equity among them while providing upgraded spaces and amenities. Flexibility is supported through moveable furniture and fully integrated technology serving hybrid distance and in-person learning. Limited in opportunities for daylighting due the deep floor plate of the existing building, the design takes advantage of adjacency to an east-facing atrium through the extensive use of glazed interior partitions.

The Right Balance of Shared and Private Spaces

Due to the introspective and competitive nature of the students’ work, the program required a design approach that balances collaborative group work and individual privacy. A new common lounge faces the existing library atrium, welcoming law students into the suite. Bands of frosted glazing balance transparency with a sense of privacy since use of the space is limited to journal members.

Further into the suite, a shared work room is equipped with group tables and individual computer workstations for independent work. The room is anchored at one end with an open kitchen, which has become a student favorite. The space is lined with team huddle rooms for collaboration at shared large format monitors. Six dedicated private offices, one for each journal, are distributed throughout, and two large conference rooms accommodate all members of each journal to gather privately as a group.

Fully integrated power and technology support the long hours that students dedicate to their work. Wood paneling and accent trim bring warmth and a residential feel to the space, resulting in a contemporary and collaborative new home for the student journals.