Bucknell University to renovate Demosthenean Hall


Bucknell University in the US has announced plans to renovate and expand its Demosthenean Hall and convert it into a Humanities Center at the former Delta Upsilon fraternity house.

The hall was constructed in 1941 and is located adjacent to Bertrand Library. It currently includes the computing and technology affinity house.

Architecture firm Celli-Flynn Brennan has developed plans for the $7.9m project, and were also responsible for design of Bucknell's Carnegie Building restoration.

Humanities Center inaugural director James Mark Shields said: "The students we polled were almost unanimous in saying that they wanted a space where they could do intellectual work that wasn't a classroom, dormitory or social space.

"We want to expand the humanities beyond the classroom, with the grand vision of making the humanities a greater part of the identity of the University."

The current renovation and expansion project is set to add a new wing to the side of the building facing the Vaughan Literature Building, which will increase interior space by 30% to a total of 21,704ft.

The new 7,032ft addition will reorient the building's main entrance to face the Vaughan Literature Building.

"Students were almost unanimous in saying that they wanted a space where they could do intellectual work that wasn't a classroom, dormitory or social space."

A great room on first-floor will function as a hearth space and support the Humanities Center's programming series, as well as being able to accommodate a 100-person lecture or 50-person banquet.

Renovations will also see opening up of interior walls, the addition of basement-level windows and installation of a new central atrium extending from a gabled skylight through to the first floor.

A rooftop garden, indoor planters and a living wall inside the atrium will also be added.

Renovation and construction work is expected to start following reunion weekend in June, with opening set for March next year.


Image: A new addition will reorient the building's main entrance to face the Vaughan Literature Building. Photo: courtesy of Bucknell University.