Lehigh University, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, Packard Lobby Renovation

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

For a century, the entrance lobby of the Packard Laboratory building, housing Lehigh University’s renowned engineering program, was unchanged. Through the main doors, it was a dimly lighted, classical space with the regional Packard automobile as its focal point.

The architect was charged with redesigning the space to highlight the college’s cutting-edge ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2004 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation without slighting past achievements.

New lighting and ceiling paint brighten the space. A new media wall highlights the college’s ever-evolving accomplishments via interactive touchscreen monitors and a large plasma monitor, which is gesture-controlled via tiny concealed cameras and infrared detectors. Dynamic fixed displays are revealed and concealed alternately behind liquid crystal glass.

The angle of the display case inflects toward the main conference room of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Its color complements the bronze commemorative plaques on the walls of the lobby. A bronze mirror facing the Packard car allows viewing of all sides.

Today, the Packard lobby combines stone walls and columns with plasma screens and liquid crystal glass to welcome past and future generations of engineers.