The New College House at the University of Pennsylvania is the catalyst for the development of a vibrant campus gateway at the northeastern edge of this urban campus in Philadelphia. MVLA worked closely with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson from concept to final design on a plan that makes a residential precinct with a distinct identity. The project enhances the broader campus plan, reinforcing the axis leading to the Perelman Quadrangle in the heart of the central campus.
The building is set at the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets to create inviting common spaces for the college house on the inside of the block. A central quadrangle serves as a common space for gathering and passage. The lifted lawn is a place for sunning and casual gathering, creating sectional relationships that are important for views across and through the block. There are multiple ways to move through the site and to experience the project, offering a balance of public and secure passage that is required for student living. The main entrance acts as a lighthouse in the center of the quad, offering views into the active space of the Servery and the intimate courtyard for building occupants.