Arrupe Hall | Saint Joseph’s University

Directly off of the busy City Line Avenue, a quiet tree-lined Lapsley Lane is the perfect setting for the newly built Arrupe Hall, a peaceful residence for Jesuit priests who teach at Saint Joseph’s University and the nearby preparatory high school.

Arrupe Hall is a three-story congregate living residence of approximately 15,000 GSF located on-campus at St. Joseph’s University in Lower Merion Township. Designed to accommodate 15 residents in individual units, the modern structure is elegant, serene, and provides generous living spaces and amenities for its inhabitants. An attached chapel is a study in the use of light and time. Inspired by the Gregorian Calendar, its distinctive brick screen wall permits dappled light through layers of interior wood screens for a place of worship that is as meditative as it is inspiring.
..

Directly off of the busy City Line Avenue, a quiet tree-lined Lapsley Lane is the perfect setting for the newly built Arrupe Hall, a peaceful residence for Jesuit priests who teach at Saint Joseph’s University and the nearby preparatory high school.

Arrupe Hall is a three-story congregate living residence of approximately 15,000 GSF located on-campus at St. Joseph’s University in Lower Merion Township. Designed to accommodate 15 residents in individual units, the modern structure is elegant, serene, and provides generous living spaces and amenities for its inhabitants. An attached chapel is a study in the use of light and time. Inspired by the Gregorian Calendar, its distinctive brick screen wall permits dappled light through layers of interior wood screens for a place of worship that is as meditative as it is inspiring.

The building’s structure is a meticulously coordinated steel podium supporting load-bearing wood stud walls and floors constructed of metal plate connected wood trusses and engineered lumber. The steel framing was thoughtfully integrated into the wood structure to allow open gathering spaces on the first floor - a library, dining room, and study – and the suites on the second and third floors offer retreat and privacy.

Major structural challenges included incorporating a lateral system into the open floor plan and transferring forces between the wood and steel systems. Load-bearing walls step back on the façade and were transferred to steel beams below. Panelization of the shear walls meant field connections between panels were critical, and these connections and hold-downs were carefully designed and checked in the field.

A three-story lobby features a monumental stair constructed of wood and steel where every connection and detail was carefully developed to achieve the architectural vision for a flowing guardrail that transitions to a wood screen. A 250 sf skylight supported by LVL beams illuminates the core of the residence.

The most unique and challenging structural aspect of the project was the design of a 30 ft tall single wythe brick screen wall around the exterior of the chapel. The design team carefully developed the perforations in the wall to allow light into the chapel while also integrating continuous reinforcing in custom hollow-core bricks. The curving and battered wall is supported by a galvanized steel armature that is carefully concealed behind the brick. Vertical and horizontal threaded stainless steel rods are used for reinforcement and adjustable ties allow for the wall to expand and contract over time.

Considering the challenge of building the brick screen, Keast & Hood and our client Moto Designshop worked to involve the International Masonry Institute and masons with the Bricklayers and Applied Craftworkers (BAC Local Union #1) during the design phase to seek input on building this geometrically complex and ambitious screen wall. Their input informed the final design and provided valuable insight into the feasibility of constructing this one-of-a-kind feature.

Arrupe Hall stands as an elegant and serene home for the University’s esteemed Jesuit faculty. Keast & Hood was honored to contribute to such an important project.

CLIENT: Moto Design Shop
LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA

TYPE: Academic, Residential, SERVICES: New Construction, MATERIALS: Masonry, Wood, SUSTAINABILITY: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Project photos© Moto Design Shop, Structural model image © Keast & Hood

read more +