Joe’s Café is located in Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall, a building set in the core of the University of Pennsylvania campus, designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1952 and is home to the Wharton School administration, several academic department offices, Wharton faculty offices, conference rooms, and a number of important teaching spaces.
The café is Wharton's first LEED for Commercial Interiors project and is intended to demonstrate the School’s commitment to sustainable practices and to revitalize Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall. It is an important social space which has improved opportunities for collegiality for the school. The café has already become a destination and a draw to the broader Penn population.
Although a food service venue was in this location before, the space has been reconfigured to provide a large workable kitchen and an adjacent open area for the servery and display. The 1,300 sq ft addition provides the seating area that looks out onto a garden along Woodland walk. This space features 18 feet high ceilings, full height windows, and doors that open out onto the newly created outdoor seating areas within the garden. A steel trellis with limestone clad columns extends this garden pavilion and provides shade both for the interior space as well as for the intimate outdoor rooms for summer dining. The seating area is self contained, and is used for meetings, study, and social events when the servery is not in operation. This modern addition responds to and supports the original intentions of the 1950s stripped down classicism of McKim, Mead & White's original design.
In addition to the café, this project reworked approximately 6,500 sq ft to provide a more efficient reprographics center, a new office suite, public restrooms, a vending area and two new entries – one public and one service – and a small three story addition to provide new offices and conference spaces.
Together, these projects represent the first steps toward completing a comprehensive plan by VMA to increase the efficiency of Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall and to bring the entire building up to the standard set by Wharton’s flagship building Huntsman Hall.