Pennsylvania State University
Hetzel Union Building
A modern day town square.
The design concept for Penn State’s student union grows out from the main “town square”, which in the HUB is the gathering space beneath the glazed roof, open and active, 24/7 for students. Surrounding the town square are a series of activity filled zones or "neighborhoods" that are tied together by a logical and visually connected flow through the building. Students gather in the HUB to study alone or in groups. They meet with peers and learn leadership skills, social responsibility, citizenship and volunteerism through involvement in student run organizations. And they come to simply hang out in a place that is comfortable and filled with natural light.
Bringing light into a brutalist building.
The complex infill project re-purposes an underutilized alleyway and includes a 55,000 square-foot addition and 52,000 square feet of renovation. To the east and southeast, the new addition replaces 1970’s era brutalist concrete entrances with a dramatic undulating glass-and-steel canopy that gives the whole complex an energized and exciting profile, day and night and beckons students to enter and take part in the programs and resources that the center offers.
Visibility for student-run organizations.
A range of multipurpose meeting rooms are located around the central gathering space and offer greater visibility to the student leadership group activities on the upper levels.
Sustainability in mind.
Designed to Penn State’s rigorous performance standards and sustainability goals, the project incorporates high performance glazing, LED lighting and upgrades to the existing mechanical systems. The university's first inhabitable green roof sits above a new mezzanine level and includes space for seating and to accommodate gatherings following shows at the new multipurpose flex theater.
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