Carlow University, University Commons

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Design team
Albert Filoni (Design Principal); Ken Lee (Principal-in-Charge); Helen Mabry (Project Manager)

University Commons was designed to socially and academically transform Carlow’s campus. MCF’s design goals to renovate the 1967 library building were to use architectural transparency, create a stronger sense of campus community, and connect buildings ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$177.00FEATURED IN2016 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation a steep hillside. The design features new glass facades to showcase internal activity, a central atrium with a three-story stair to encourage interaction, and new upper and lower entrances.
By using compact shelving and off-site storage for library materials, the renovation opened up two floors for the Student Success Center, digital learning labs, student government and clubs, campus bookstore and post office, as well as public amenities such as a café and art gallery. A large atrium with communicating stair was created on the lower three levels, establishing a visual connection between public and private functions.
Mindful of the Sisters of Mercy, whose ideals include being stewards of the environment, University Commons features a state-of-the-art MEP system and a new automatically tinting Sage Glass curtain wall. This special glass regulates solar heat gain to cut energy consumption. University Commons received LEED Silver certification.