Community College of
Philadelphia Library

Philadelphia, PA

Adaptive Re-use
38,000 SF

Sonja Bijelić, AIA
(Designed while an Associate at

The Community College of Philadelphia is the third largest degree-granting institution in the City of Philadelphia, enrolling 46,000 students annually at more than 20 locations throughout the Philadelphia region.

The renovation of the historic U.S. Mint Building considerably increased the size of this urban college library, using strictly limited resources to create additional space for the large student body the College serves. By creating a new mezzanine level, a panoramic view of the City are now more visible, and connects the College and its multinational student body to the heart of downtown.

The library is located in several buildings at 17th and Spring Garden Streets in downtown Philadelphia, a complex of more than 38,000 square feet. Originally built for the manufacturing of coins, the Mint Building's load-bearing capacity is unusually strong and has particularly high ceilings. The mezzanine level that was created in the building added approximately 6,000 square feet of new space.