Penn State University
Penn State University
Year Built



Penn State University, PA




Offices, central circulation / collaborative learning space, resource library, and kitchenette.

Penn State University


The Student Success Center was one part of an on-going redevelopment project of the Williams Building. Located on the upper floor, the existing space was a former exhibit space and tutoring room. One of the primary challenges of the existing space was excessive glazing along the staff offices that created a “fish bowl” condition. With a commitment to sustainability R3A documented and cataloged each piece of existing glass that was then be repurposed as office glazing and to define a central circulation corridor, which was used as marker board and spatially to delineate three distinct zones: office, central circulation and collaborative learning space.

Penn State University


R3A’s planning strategy was to consolidate the smaller disparate program spaces into one volume surrounded by a wood armature that would contain the reception desk, resource library and kitchenette. By rotating the volume and resource armature 19 degrees, all of these components could be aligned linearly while maintaining the central circulation “spine.” The interstitial space between the south wall and the volume allowed for private entry into the testing rooms, separating it from the more public collaborative meeting area. By consolidating all of the smaller components of the program into one singular form, the remainder of the space could exist as a fully flexible space that could be reconfigured for large or small group study sessions, tutoring sessions, large scale events and conventions. A bright color palette and a variety of flexible furnishings were employed to accentuate a vibrant and collaborative atmosphere.

Back to Top