It’s 8:30 a.m., and Wharton students are beginning to find their way around Jon M. Huntsman Hall. Some are bleary eyed; others are alert, checking their schedules, scrutinizing room numbers. Acquaintances meet and exchange stories about the summer, while the smell of coffee and baked goods from the Hurst Café on Locust Walk fills the air. They are home, at last.

Huntsman Hall is vast; it’s easy to get lost at first. With 324,000 square feet and 48 classrooms, finding the right place can be a challenge. But it won’t be long before students know their way around, attending classes, checking their mailboxes, and utilizing community meeting spaces like the two cafés, computer workstations, and 57 24-hour group study rooms with “smart board” technology.

Technology in Huntsman Hall is designed to be pervasive and transparent- it is available everywhere, but blends seamlessly with students’ daily activities. In fact, Huntsman Hall will be a living laboratory for exploring new paradigms in learning and education. The technology throughout the building will allow faculty and students to easily interact with each other and with peers and colleagues around the world and, in doing so, engage in ways of learning that would not be otherwise possible.

A striking mixture of soaring spaces and comfortable detail, Huntsman Hall was designed by the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC, New York. More than 100 focus groups including students, faculty, and staff were held prior to the facility’s design to examine everything from seating arrangements in lounges to white boards in classrooms. Years of planning have come to fruition, and Wharton has found its home.

The Diane V. S. and Robert M. Levy, WG’74, Lobby

Students working in the Robert J. Hurst, WG’68, Café, located on Locust Walk.

Large tiered classrooms with 60, 80, or 100 seats are designed with the entrance in the front, an aisle up the middle for the instructor to move, a multiple-screen system for video projection and teleconferencing, and 360-degree swivel seats for easy classroom discussions.

Faculty control classroom technology systems from a single touch-screen interface, which allows easy and flexible access to the technology either from within the classroom or remotely over the web. An instructor’s lectern – custom designed by the Wharton School – incorporates a state-of-the-art computing and audiovisual technology with an advanced master control system, which adjusts audiovisual equipment, lights, and room settings. The system can be operated by the instructor, a technician within the classroom, or a technician working remotely over the School’s Intranet.

All new and recently enhanced classrooms throughout the Wharton campus are designed with a common interface for instructional technology. Custom “profiles” allow each instructor to maintain the same personalized teaching environment in any classroom throughout Huntsman Hall in Philadelphia or Wharton West in San Francisco.

The Barbara and Marty Zweig, W’64, lobby connects to Locust Walk, the tree-lined main campus pedestrian thoroughfare that links Van Pelt-Lippincott Library, Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Huntsman Hall, and the west residential towers.

57 study rooms are booked online for student use with password-protected access. Available 24 hours, they offer network connectivity for all students, a computer with a wireless keyboard, an Internet video camera and microphone for videoconferencing with other groups, an electronic whiteboard connected to the room’s computer (“smart board”), and two computer displays.