Penn Pavilion

The inaugural project in a broader initiative that will transform the heart of Duke University, the glass-walled Pavilion is a vibrant center of activity and an iconic form that contributes to the cultural and aesthetic landscape of the West Campus. While the Pavilion now provides a 450-seat dining facility for the West Campus during the renovation of an adjacent dining hall, its design is primarily informed by its long-term use as a much-needed events facility. As such, the Pavilion will host formal and informal co-curricular programs, providing an engaging space to enliven one of the university’s central areas. The layout, lighting and HVAC systems, along with the facility’s access to daylight, will allow it to be easily reconfigured once the dining hall renovation is completed. The Pavilion’s flexible design will also adapt to provide a single event space for up to 700 people or three partitioned spaces.

The Pavilion mediates the natural and built environments of the campus, with views of surrounding woods and Gothic buildings. It integrates the campus’ distinctive stone exterior walls as its plinth, reinforcing its connections with a series of outdoor social spaces that extend to an adjacent plaza that is popular with students and other members of the campus community. In keeping with Duke’s commitment to the environment, the Pavilion will be pursuing a minimum of LEED Silver certification.


Project Type


Durham, North Carolina, United States

Related links


  • Shepley Bulfinch
  • Shepley Bulfinch