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Interior 1 - Level Stair View
Interior 2 - EDGE store
Exterior 1 - Dusk
Interior 3 - Dining Area, Orange Ceiling
Interior 4 - Market Space
Exterior 2 - Landing Page
Interior 5 - Dining, Open Ceiling
Interior 6 - Stair, Looking Down
Exterior 3 - Glass Side
Interior 7 - Lounge Space
Interior 8 - Retail Dining Area
Client: The Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, PA
Type: Renovations + Addition
Project Size: 125,350 SF
Award: 2019 ACUI Facility Design Excellence Award

Findlay Commons received a significant update to meet mealtime expectations and community gathering needs of students, in addition to replacing mechanical systems pasts their anticipated service life. This complex renovation was phased to enable continuous operation during construction.

An inviting light filled stair, with lounge space overlooking the residential quad, reengages the formerly isolated second floor dining into a cohesive experience. The visual connection between the levels integrates a variety of completely new dining venues on both floors. The two-story addition creates a dramatic new entry welcoming students from the quad. The exterior was completely updated, enhancing views to and from the surrounding campus while improving energy efficiency.

On the second floor, there is a choice of all-you-care-to-eat and retail dining options. Venues include a sushi bar, soup/salad bar, a deli, lunch/dinner buffet, and allergen-free/ kosher stations. The first floor includes a new C-store; coffee shop, and grill, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Planning for the Future of Findlay Commons

During the schematic design phase, WTW initiated a highly interactive planning process with the goal of upgrading this facility so that menu changes could be accommodated more easily, and to create a satellite student center for the underclassmen living in the dorms near the dining hall. The building needed to be comfortable enough that students would want to stay beyond mealtimes, while being finished with materials suitable for a dining hall, that were easy to clean and maintain. The planning process began with a series of Visioning Sessions facilitated by the University. Students participated in these sessions to provide input on dining preferences and other priorities for the student life design.

"The WTW team created an oustanding dining facility that has become the successful prototypical model for our other dining operations across campus." 

- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University 


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