Hill College House has reopened to Penn students now that its 15-month, $80 million renovation is complete. The design and construction team was led by Mills + Schnoering Architects and aims for LEED Gold certification. Hill College House was originally designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen and built in 1960 to house women students. The extensive renovation to the five-story, 195,000 square foot brick building preserves the original design for communal living by providing numerous public spaces of varying scales.
Hill College House is home to 500 Penn freshmen from all over the world. Hill College House was originally made up of four identical L-shaped “houses” and this aspect of the design was kept in the renovation. The four sections are now color-coded in bold colors: red, blue, green and yellow.
Highlights of the ‘new’ House include:
A 50% expansion of dining facilities
Restoration of the iconic “drawbridge” entrance and landscaped “moat”
Removal, restoration and refitting of over 400 windows
New furniture and finishes that echo the building’s midcentury style and the bold color palette and furnishings of the original design
All new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and the introduction of air conditioning
LED lighting in the center atrium
New elevator and lift in compliance with accessibility standards
Perimeter wall insulation, a new roof and restoration of two outdoor courtyards.
The building was created with small rooms—mainly for sleeping—and a number of floor lounges and community lounges to encourage socialization.