University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1920 Commons Revitalization

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • FIRM

    Buell Kratzer Powell


    University of Pennsylvania

  • AREA

    16,000 sq.ft.





The University of Pennsylvania's largest dining facility was transformed into a marketplace, lounge and dining destination.

As part of a campaign to revitalize the university’s largest dining facility and offer more food choices in a relaxed environment, the architect was engaged by the University of Pennsylvania Dining Services and Bon Appetit ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$312.50FEATURED IN2013 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCafeterias/Food-Service Areas Company to reconfigure indoor and outdoor spaces in the Class of 1920 Commons.

Dining amenities now include a 1,440-square-foot fresh food island; 1,350-square-foot gourmet grocer; 1,380 square feet of pizza, pasta and international food stations; 2,090-square-foot coffee shop; and 930-square-foot multipurpose room. 

Design elements include linear wood ceilings to define spaces; frameless folding glass walls to provide access control while affording visual openness; and custom reclaimed-wood casework, pendant lighting, and refinished existing exposed concrete walls for a warm industrial look that complements the building’s original modern architecture. 

The dining area provides movable tables and chairs for flexible seating for 370. A lounge with a 6-foot gas fireplace and soft seating offers a casual relaxation area, which extends to the updated courtyard with outdoor kitchen, trellis and bamboo garden.