CTBUH Chapter Event
The CTBUH Philadelphia Chapter is pleased to present a presentation and discussion around Urban Habitat featuring the award-winning project Mazur Hall at Temple University.
AIA/CES Credits: 1 LUs
5:30 CTBUH Member Reception/Cocktail Hour
6:00 Presentation, Discussion & Questions
7:00 Q&A, Cocktails
8:30 Program Concludes
Temple University was founded in 1884 as a place where working-class Philadelphians could receive a higher education. However, when Mazur Hall (originally named Anderson Hall) was constructed in 1973, the large plaza that served as the entrance to several buildings in the block, was elevated above street level, intentionally isolating the campus from the neighborhood. This created a lack of accessibility to the campus and ultimately generated a feeling that the University was turning its back on the neighborhood and city it was founded to serve. The new lobby and entry sequence to Mazur Hall reintegrates the elevated plaza, that was originally positioned to divide the campus from the neighborhood, as a major asset in the social network of this interdependent community relationship.
The primary intervention erodes the plaza perimeter to reduce the tunnel-like experience of the underpass. Two small existing courtyards, formerly separated by a looming overpass, are united into a grand court that establishes a properly scaled entry plaza to the College of Liberal Arts. A transparent sculptural volume is inserted into the void of the plaza to connect the two campus levels with a major event space and lobby that serves as a primary gathering space for the College. An elevator, monumental stairways and a bleacher stair connect the street level to the elevated terrace above. Ultimately, this project presents a new, centralized event venue and activities hub for every student at the University while providing unique views of Temple’s iconic Bell Tower. Mazur Hall Lobby is visible from afar, offering a renewed prominence, and added functionality for a previously neglected part of campus. This new building at the College of Liberal Arts is at the center of the University’s student life and is designed to accommodate social, professional, educational, and community functions.
Several prominent buildings within the University overlook the Plaza. However, in the original design, the buildings lacked visual significance, both on the campus and within the surrounding area. The space needed a sense of identity within the barren plaza. With this intervention, the College of Liberal Arts gained a prominent identity that encourages pride of place. Every student at Temple University passes through Mazur Hall, and the new event space and community hub at the College of Liberal Arts will be at the center of the University’s student life plan for decades to come.