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Kimball® Saves Time & Money for PSU With Residence Hall Transformation

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Penn State University

State College, Pennsylvania

As Pennsylvania's only land-grant university, Penn State University (PSU) has a broad mission of teaching, research, and public service. Penn State consistently ranks among the top one percent of the world’s universities. Across 24 campuses throughout Pennsylvania, their 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff know that the real measure of success goes beyond the classroom—it’s the positive impact made on communities across the world. Penn State represents a strong economic engine as a major employer, and a source of students, faculty, and staff who keep local economies going.


  • Create an area on the first floor that would be attractive to students.
  • Design a fun and interactive space for gathering, socializing, studying and group work.
  • Tie everything together with uniform flow and bring unity to the rooms.



  • Utilize furniture solutions that are durable enough for high usage, but easy to move.
  • Utilize technology so students can always be connected and fully charged.



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PSU came to Kimball for guidance on how to turn the first floor of a residence hall into a space that was attractive to students. This space was located in an area of the building that was not being used and had different types of furniture that were not cohesive. PSU wanted to tie everything together with a uniform flow as you moved throughout the space and bring unity to the rooms.

The idea was to create a fun and interactive space while also providing an area for gathering, socializing, studying and group work. Just as important, the product had to be durable enough to withstand use by a large number of students, but still flexible to allow them to move it around if they chose.

By using Narrate and creating a shelter in the front lobby entrance, the Kimball team was able to give privacy to the students working while keeping the space open. In the recreation and lounge area, Pairings was utilized to create space division while also establishing a modern gathering space that students can utilize for socialization or study.

The study rooms need to accommodate many students, but also give them opportunities to work alone or in groups. Dock tables and Villa seating booths were used to create nooks that would support the type of work the students required.

Technology was also a key component so that the students could always be connected and fully charged. Teem was used in the space to give the students a tool to project and share their work on the TV.

PSU was looking for quality, durable products that were also fresh and fun for the students. They found that Kimball was able to provide several design solutions to help them create the ideal setting for their space.

“Before, it was not common to see a student in this space during the day,” stated Chad Henning, Assistant Director of Housing at PSU. “Now, it's a rare occasion to see the space not being used. A space that was once lifeless, is now vibrant and alive with students.”

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