Projects

Franklin & Marshall College – SAGA Office

Lancaster, PA

“Living Room of the College”

The Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) student-led organization moved to a more prominent campus location, the Steinman College Center. The Center is a student-run facility that, according to F&M’s website, “acts as the ‘living room’ of the College – a place where students, faculty, professional staff and guests meet and share a variety of social, educational, cultural and recreational experiences.”.

Flexible Design Solutions for Student-Led Organization

Interior renovations to the SAGA space included new furniture and finishes to create a flexible and inviting floor plan for organizing and hosting events, a collaborative workspace for meetings, and an overall comfortable environment for socializing and studying. Technology was included in the meeting space for easy plug-in and presentation capabilities. An array of soft seating areas were provided throughout the suite to accommodate individual study and group gatherings. It was important for the space to be appealing to all students, reflecting the student-centered mission of this organization.

Photography Credit:  Nathan Cox Photography

 

Franklin & Marshall College – Schnader Hall

Lancaster, PA

Big Changes in a Small Timeframe

Continuing multi-phased student housing updates that have taken place at Franklin & Marshall College over the past five summers, the renovations to Schnader Hall had to be completed when students would not be in the building. This condensed renovation schedule required nimble planning so that students would be able to return in time for the fall semester. The effort was assisted by extensive preconstruction efforts including a design process that started at the conclusion of the prior phase. The lobby, study lounges, restroom, corridors, and resident rooms all received a refresh.

A New Outlook for an Older Building

Like Franklin & Marshall College itself—originally founded in 1787, but moving forward and adapting to modern changes—Schnader Hall sits at a junction, separating the residential quad from the main academic areas of the College. It was important, during the design of the housing renovations, that Schnader Hall remain a place that students would want to both live and study. Through careful and imaginative renovation design, approximately 20 extra beds were able to be comfortably added while maintaining student safety and privacy. To complete the residence hall transformation into a completely new space, Schnader Hall as a whole received updates of bright colors and energetic accents.

Comfort and ADA Compatibility

Because the student population is now more diverse than ever, special consideration was taken to add all-gender, ADA accessible bathrooms in each hall. These bathrooms share sinks, but provide separate, private toilet and shower areas. In addition, excessive doorways and the walls around them were removed or reworked, creating a more open, welcoming space for all students. To add to student comfort, new MEP systems were introduced.

Photo Credit:  Nathan Cox Photography

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Honors Hall, Lycoming College

Williamsport, PA

From Auto Parts Store to Restored 19th Century Landmark Building

This adaptive reuse project transformed a condemned building into a beautiful multi-use cultural resource. In addition to the main recital hall, the building also houses offices for the Honors Program, Campus Ministry and Community Services, a student lounge and a meditation chapel. Working entirely within the existing envelope, the refurbished building  features extensive interior detailing and casework, with environmentally friendly cork flooring.

The 19th century landmark was originally built in 1884 as a meeting house for the growing city of Williamsport and most recently was being used as an auto parts store. Lycoming College originally purchased the property with the intention of making a parking lot. However, a financial gift to the college facilitated a new vision for the solid 19th century brick building.

Multi-Use Resource for the College and Surrounding Community

The dramatic transformation incorporates pieces of the college’s history including terra cotta medallions from a former campus art and music conservatory and a stained glass window rescued from another campus building. Flexible seating was utilized for the recital hall to accommodate a wide range of programming for up to 100 people on the first floor with an additional 20 seats in a balcony viewing area. The recital hall has become a vibrant, acoustically-friendly addition to the campus, well received by the Lycoming College music program and the surrounding community.

Photo Credit: Michael Mutmansky Photography

Façade Improvements, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Lancaster, PA

Significant façade renovations helped the college enhance its visual impact within the existing urban setting. The new facade employs light to create a dynamic color display. To maximize the lighting effects, vertical building columns were enclosed by seamless metal. Metal sunscreens were installed at each window at a 90-degree angle to create a sun-generated display of ever-changing shadows. An uninviting concrete overhang was replaced with a curved canopy to provide a panoramic view of an interior art gallery. RLPS provided conceptual design and Tippits/Weaver Architects provided design execution.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Willman Business Center, York College of Pennsylvania

York, PA

A Place of Opportunity

York College of Pennsylvania has a very strong business program, but the building in which it was housed needed updating and significant expansion to accommodate all of its faculty and desired programming. Located close to local York businesses and corporations, the program offered its enrolled students many advantages but needed contemporary classrooms, trading labs and support spaces with built-in flexibility to adapt as the curriculum advances. The design result was a five-story addition and renovations to house all business administration faculty in one building and facilitate active, hands-on learning experiences and spontaneous collaboration.

Connection to the Campus

The building needed to display outwardly what was going on inside. A sleek corporate design was selected, but it had to fit in aesthetically with the other brick buildings on campus. Due to the existing building’s location on the campus quad, the expansion was situated so that all angles of approach are welcoming and connected to the center of campus. The end result is a primarily brick façade facing the campus quad and merging with the other buildings, with refined metal and glass surfaces facing outwards, capitalizing on the city views.

A Modern Setting for Modern Students

The inside of the building features an expansive two-story lobby equipped with a NASDAQ ticker. Further inside are nine smart classrooms with seating for 40 students each, a 150-seat auditorium, a commerce lab, and a corporate training center. Other additions include offices, collaborative research areas, and breakout rooms that promote spontaneous learning. The building is capped with Yorkview Hall, a multipurpose space enclosed in glass, capable of seating 300 people for diverse events. Yorkview Hall opens out onto terraces with panoramic views of the city of York.

Award: American School & University 2014 Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Brooks College House / Weis College House, Franklin & Marshall College

Lancaster, PA

These projects involved interior design services for renovations and additions, including a new entrance and multipurpose room to create Weis College House and common spaces for Brooks College House. Services included furniture space planning for the Multipurpose, Seminar and Living Room areas and selection of furniture and furniture finishes, as well as coordination of the bidding process and furniture installation. Interior furnishing selections were made to complement the architectural character of the project in coordination with high end finishes including maple and anigre paneling, bluestone flooring and an acoustical millwork feature wall.

 

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography

Performing Arts & Humanities Center, York College of Pennsylvania

York, PA

A former gymnasium, natatorium and classroom facilities were renovated and expanded. The main element of the new Performing Arts Center is a 750-seat theater with stage and full fly loft. The building includes a second “black box” performance space, as well as classrooms below the theater at a basement level. Back of house spaces include a green room, changing rooms, a scenery shop and storage areas. The adjacent former gymnasium structure was renovated into classrooms, offices and support spaces to form the Humanities Center which includes 26 classrooms, large group instruction area, learning resource area and café.

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Franklin & Marshall College – Ben Franklin South Residence Hall

Lancaster, PA

The interior refresh of this residence hall was completed during the 11 week, summer break. Working inside the constraints of the existing space, study lounges, corridors, and over 100 resident rooms received new furniture and finishes. Excessive corridor doorways were removed for a more open and unified residential space. Special considerations were made to add gender neutral ADA accessible bathrooms. Subsequent interior refreshes continue in additional housing during summer breaks.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Murray Library Learning Commons, Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA

Library Renovations to Introduce Learning Commons

The initial phase encompassed focus groups, a facility review and an interactive design charrette to introduce mobile computer, group collaborative and other 21st century student learning features into Murray Library. An analysis of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sprinkler systems, as well as code and accessibility reviews identified opportunities for energy efficiency, occupant comfort and accessibility improvements. The subsequent renovations incorporated Learning Commons into the existing infrastructure and involved flexible design concepts that could be implemented through a multi-phased process.

“RLPS successfully organized a team to integrate Learning Commons Spaces while allowing the library to remain functional with the bulk of the work occurring during the summer.”

Kathie Shaffer, Vice President of Operations; Messiah College

Breathing New Life Into Multiple Areas

The design solution reconfigured the main floor to provide an enlarged “Barnes and Noble” style café and informal study area at the front door. This area has electrical power and wireless internet access throughout and includes a number of collaboration stations that support a range of group gatherings and meetings. Two multi-seat media tables in this area include an integrated audiovisual system that allows students to plug in their laptops for viewing on the flat panel display at the end of the table. Opposite the café is one of three “touchdown” station areas to support student walk-up use for email retrieval, library catalog review and web surfing.

Both floors include new group study rooms with laptop connections, flat panel display and built-in sound system and controls for group collaboration and meetings. Numerous informal private and group work tables with power and internet connections are also provided throughout.

Meeting Current Needs with an Eye to the Future

This update project, funded in part through the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), provided needed space for complementing programs, such as testing and learning /writing centers, to be assimilated into the library.  The expanded student run cafe, Cafe Diem, helps to keep students and staff on campus, provides student employment and now serves as a valuable revenue resource for the College. To enable Messiah College to adapt to continually evolving technologies, the Learning Commons areas utilize modular furnishings in lieu of built-ins to accommodate future updates as needed. The design solution also envisions a future mezzanine level to function as a quiet study area.

Award: American School & University Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

York College Recording Studio, York College of Pennsylvania

York, PA

World Class Recording Studio Created by Re-Purposing Classrooms

YCP Studios, the new recording studio on campus was made possible by re-purposing existing space within an academic building where other music department classes were already taking place and which has served as an informal gathering space for musicians. The new on-campus recording studio opened the door for students to not only gain hands-on experience with professional recording equipment, but also allowed them the opportunity to create the York Music Group, which in turn manages its own record label – YCP Records.

The newly formed York Music Group also books entertainment through its event planning and promotion division, York Live. With the addition of this unique space on campus, YCP students are now able to directly experience every aspect of creating, recording, promoting, and performing music.

State-of-Art Resource for Students, the College and Community

Drawing on the experience and technical knowledge of design team members, including world-class acoustical consultants, we were able to transform two unused classrooms into a state-of-the-art, acoustically engineered studio for audio recording and production services. The studio provides cutting-edge technology to record, mix and master an artist’s work, while also functioning as an active learning classroom.

Since it’s opening, the studio has been opened up to the active music community in York, Pennsylvania, turning the space into an income generator for the college while creating a lively and inspiring environment for their musically talented students and faculty.

“Part of our job as a college is community engagement. It’s about getting folks in the region in here to do work, which also helps our students.”

Shawn Young, Ph.D., Music Industry Studies, Associate Professor of Music, as quoted in York Dispatch

Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography