West Chester UniversityAcademic and Student Services Building
25 University Avenue
The challenge was to renovate the university's music building into a lively and engaging new home for West Chester's student services offices and math and computer science departments. The venue was a dark, cavernous facility that offered little natural light in the building's center. Concrete masonry bearing walls divided the interior into small, isolated spaces suitable for practice rooms and instrument storage, but not for general academic or student use.
KSS wanted to foster interaction between teachers and students and improve access. The design takes advantage of opportunities presented by the building's unique configuration to create spaces for formal and informal collaboration and conversation. The inclusion of several classrooms ensures the building maintains a lively atmosphere throughout the academic day. To lighten the center of the two-story square building sustainably, KSS designed a 180x8 light well, which follows popular paths for pedestrian traffic and delivers daylight to the heart of the building, reducing energy consumption. The building also uses a geothermal heating and cooling system, for which the university won funding from the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Program: Renovation and conversion of music school to an academic and student services building
Size: 55,274 sf
Features: Light well, geothermal heating and cooling system, classrooms, offices, lounge spaces