University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1920 Commons Revitalization

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania


16,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


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 Management 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.

Additional Information

Cost per Sq Ft


Featured in

2013 Educational Interiors

Interior category

Cafeterias/Food-Service Areas

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Interface
Flooring by Dal-Tile
Cabinets by Caesar Porcelain Tile
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Ceramic Tile by Royal Mosa
Door Hardware by Best Access Systems
Movable Partitions/Walls by Modernfold
Kitchen Equipment by JBI
Doors by Kawneer
Paint/Wallcoverings by MAB
Cafeteria Furniture by Knoll
Cafeteria Furniture by Emeco
Lounge Furniture by Bernhardt
Washroom Fixtures by Kohler
HVAC Control Devices by Johnson Controls
IAQ Devices by Johnson Controls
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