Hope you’ve gotten your fix of flag football and ultimate frisbee at Hill Field, for starting tomorrow, the University of Pennsylvania open space will be no more. Or rather, it will be significantly reduced, as construction begins on New College House at Hill Field.
The 198,000 sq ft New College House will house 350 undergrads, and like Penn’s other college houses, will have a resident faculty master, a house dean, and two fellows. Now in their 15th year at Penn, the college house configuration differs from typical college dormitories, in that house deans serve as academic advisors and mentors; fellows are faculty or senior administration. As well, all of the houses offer programs, services, and social opportunities for residents, from standard academic advising to music lessons.
Philadelphia’s Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, of Apple Store fame globally and the Liberty Bell Center and forthcoming 15th & Walnut Cheesecake Factory locally, provides the design for the three-walled building that frames a central courtyard. The courtyard, called the Lifted Lawn, slopes a remaining portion of Hill Field’s grass lawn upward toward a plaza and dining pavilion.
New College House at Hill Field, anchored on the corner of 34th & Chestnut, opens outward toward Woodland Walk and has a long street wall along Chestnut Street that reaches toward Drexel’s Chestnut Square just across 33rd Street. The two projects and the services they provide represent the institutional evolution changing the face, and skyline, of University City.