University of Pennsylvania Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing

Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania’s Writing Center, to accommodate its growing program, relocated from a historic Victorian row-home to the McNeil Building, a 20,000-SF brutalist building. The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing fosters individual creativity and collaboration between students and faculty. The design team designed the space to support creative thinking while avoiding the standard academic space design. Students and staff wanted the space to feel comfortable and hospitable; therefore, the design creates intimate nook-like spaces for collaboration and residential-inspired design for private offices. The Lighting Practice developed lighting solutions for classrooms, the main writing center, open lounge study areas, and enclosed administrative offices. Circulation areas and classrooms feature exposed structural coffers which are uplit to extend the sense of daylight deep into the interior of the space. Dark finishes and decorative pendants work together to create intimate zones for individual study areas and to support the varying ways that students and faculty work and enjoy their environment.

IES International Illumination Awards: Award of Merit, 2021
IES Philadelphia Section: Certificate of Merit, 2021


University of Pennsylvania


Studio Modh

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