Community College of Philadelphia Library and Learning Commons

Community College of Philadelphia Lounge

Community College of Philadelphia Library and Learning Commons

A Historic Home For a 21st-Century Library

The Community College of Philadelphia is repurposing its historic Mint Building to become a new Library and Learning Commons — a destination on campus for the college's diverse student body. By creating a new, cohesive arrival sequence and defining a recognizable grand "reading room," the Learning Commons ties discreet functions within the building together in a dynamic and welcoming place. 

Throughout the design process, all key stakeholders, from the provost to the director and the faculty, staff and tutors, ensured that students' needs were front and center. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college, and providing supportive learning environments is vital to their success. Care was taken to explore and develop the library into a space that can aid students in furthering their education and provide spaces for active, collaborative and focused learning.

The reading room, a long double-height space, is a modern interpretation of the main grand hall. With a new wood ceiling to give it identity and cohesion, functions are organized around "objects" in space, including incorporating the existing mezzanine to break down the scale and define functional areas that allow different levels of quiet and privacy to support different study styles. In addition to the main reading room, spaces are layered to include smaller huddle and group study spaces adjacent to the exterior courtyard, redesigned as an outdoor student space. 

The renovation allows for the co-location of the Central, Math & Business and Allied Health, Science, & Technology Learning Labs and incorporates much-needed technology. Flexible learning spaces support individual and small group tutoring, facilitated study groups, and group study. The open and welcoming space serves to normalize academic support services, helping to actively promote these services and build a community of support. 

Community College of Philadelphia Lounge
Community College of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA
United States

64,000 sf (5945 m²)