University of Pennsylvania

1920 Commons

The University of Pennsylvania’s 1920 Dining Commons is a three-level facility located at the corner of 38th and Locust Walk on campus. It serves as a main cafeteria, a grab-and-go food option, food market, coffee shop, and a study lounge.  

The facility is a cast in place concrete structure. Structurally, the building was sound, but all finishes and the majority of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems needed to be replaced. The entire middle and lower level were demolished in order to create a new, stylish, and open concept market. All the finishes selected were high end in order to create the feeling of a hotel or Center City food option. The lower level work included a new Starbucks along with a 360-degree fireplace for the students. The main courtyard was also demolished with new pavers, plantings, and a cedar trellis going back in. The mechanical room had all new sump pumps, air handlers, steam system, and motor control center in order to keep pace with the use change to the building. The exterior of the building had seen significant wear on the concrete along with the metal panel façade on the front. All concrete was power washer, patched and restained.

Location: Philadelphia, PA   Architect: Buell, Kratzer, Powell

Size: 12,000 square feet  Completion: 2013