Penn State University has completed a major renovation of the Steidle Building, considered one of the most iconic buildings on the school's University Park campus.
The facility, constructed in 1929, is home to the university's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
A primary goal of the project was to retain the exterior of the building while revamping the interior.
"We wanted to retain what [architect] Charles Klauder had brought to this university so many years ago, but at the same time build a state-of-the-art laboratory," says Gary Messing, distinguished professor of ceramic science and engineering. "We retained the building façade and still have the rotunda and pillars that fit with the campus. From the outside, the only way you would know something is different is by looking at the all-glass entryway in the back of the building."
The renovation demolished Steidle's central wing and in-filled the area with more building space. This enabled the department to maximize a type of space it needed most: shared laboratories.
The majority of the building's first floor was designed to accommodate undergraduate students. It has seven laboratories with cutting-edge equipment; three student lounges; a genius bar; gathering spaces; and a 48-seat computer lab, many of which have white board walls that encourage and facilitate group study.
The more than 22,350 square feet of shared laboratory space on the second, third and fourth floors, will enable researchers to collaborate with one another and teach undergraduate students the fundamentals of conducting research.
The renovation also sought to make the building more environmentally friendly. Penn State made energy conservation and daylight harvesting priorities and have incorporated mechanical systems with occupancy sensors. The university is seeking LEED Silver certification for the Steidle Building renovation.
The university has scheduled a dedication ceremony later this week for the renovated facility.
Video from Penn State: