Widener University Metropolitan Hall

Location: Chester, PA
Architect: WRT

O’Donnell & Naccarato provided structural engineering services for the 4-story, 90,000 SF, design-build residence hall project. The 300-bed, L-shaped facility is comprised of multiple, adjacent and connected wings. Each wing is bridged together by a multi-story common space, which is supported by a truss integrated within the exterior wall system, that cantilevers out approximately 15 feet. This unique solution was designed to retain campus cohesion by not disturbing the existing, cross-campus walkway, which now passes underneath the cantilevered portion of the building.

The sustainability-centric facility utilizes a geothermal heating and air conditioning system that takes advantage of the Earth's ability to store heat in the ground's thermal masses to regulate the building's temperature year round. The hall was designed on a fast-track schedule becoming occupied just 18 months after design began.