Pennsylvania State University Brandywine

Main Building Renovation

The 52,000 sf Main Building on the Brandywine Campus built in 1970 houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, a lecture hall, student services, and a number of laboratories. It is typically the first building experienced by visitors and prospective students in addition to being a place that many students use daily. In order for it to continue to serve the educational mission of the university, Penn State identified a critical need for its renovation. The renovation work has been planned in two phases to allow the least amount of disruption to academic programs.

The second phase includes an increase in the number of science laboratories and an upgrade to the building’s aging infrastructure. The plan provides for increased energy efficiency, abatement of hazardous materials, and full accessibility.

HERA led the team in a process to help the university better define a facility that is safe, efficient, and enticing to the students. HERA recommended a strategy for meeting right-sized space needs for biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics classrooms and laboratories on the third floor, and using monies appropriately.

These state-of-the-art science laboratories are equipped with advanced tools, such as light microscopes and a DNA imaging system, which will be used for teaching and independent research. Students will now have the capability to visualize fluorescently labeled DNA molecules.

On the first floor of the Main Building, contemporary administrative offices along with faculty, staff and student lounge areas were also created to provide productive, safe and enjoyable work spaces.


Media, Pennsylvania


9,000 GSF


Lab programming, schematic design, design review


SMP Architects