Philadelphia, PA, United States
Alter Hall, a 217,000-SF expansion of Speakman Hall, is sited at an important campus crossroads where Liacouros Walk intersects city streets. Tripling the school's size, Alter Hall is a high-technology learning center for undergraduate and graduate students and the region's business community. The entrance along Liacouros Walk and a three-story atrium help tie Alter and Speakman together, and provide a loosely programmed space for lunches, dinners and conferences at the heart of the school. The auditorium and lecture halls are located one floor below and are reached from the atrium via a double-height prefunction space and student lounge. The school emphasized the need to engender small learning communities, where students would come in contact with faculty, peers, and the larger business community. Thus every level provides alcoves, open stairs and other opportunities for convivial interaction. The project won a PRO Spotlight Award in 2009 for the integration of technology with classrooms and common space.