Penn State Hazleton

Library Renovation & Knowledge Commons

Hazleton, PA

Project Details

penn state hazleton library renewal

Built in 1972 and updated minimally since, the Lofstrom Library at Penn State Hazleton was not reflective of the evolving definition of a modern-day library—a dynamic, technology-rich learning environment and intellectual communal hub. To reimagine the building as a 21st century library, the University engaged KSS to conduct a full interior renovation, including wholesale systems upgrades, and select enhancements to the building envelope.

High among the University’s priorities were increased transparency and connectivity—both within the two-story library and as the building relates to the campus as a whole. A saw-cut opening on the first level provides a glimpse into the floor below, housing a makerspace, One Button recording studio, and areas for collaborative study. Two exterior openings provide copious daylight and enhance campus connectivity—the northern façade opening exposes the Lofstrom Library to campus, drawing pedestrians in and providing views outward, while the southern façade presents views of Hazleton through a double-height opening.

The library’s materiality is influenced by acoustical considerations, and an overarching goal, based on student feedback, to infuse a feeling of home in the space. An oversize Nittany Lion screen-printed on acoustic felt will hang above the newly exposed floor opening, mitigating any additional noise and reinforcing identity. Perforated simulated wood ceiling clouds will suspend from the newly raised 10’ ceilings to accentuate key programmatic areas. Soon, PSU students will have a renewed resource for research and collaboration that offers contemporary library programming in a setting that feels like home.

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