Penn State University Food Science Building (Creamery)

Location: University Park,  PA
Completion: 2006
Project Area: 130,000 ft2
Services: Architecture, Planning, Programming, SD, CD, DD, Interior Design

The Penn State Food Science Building houses the famous Penn State Creamery. IKM Incorporated was commissioned to design the new building to provide the state-of-te-art facilities that would allow the University’s College of Agricultural Sciences to remain current with researchers in the food science departments in the Big Ten Conference and the Northeast. Food Science programs include research, teaching, and outreach activities. The disciplines of primary importance arechemistry, microbiology, engineering, and nutrition. This unique building combines manufacturing, retail sales, academic teaching and research under a single roof.

The goal of the project was to provide new facilities for pilot-scale food processing and manufacturing, food safety research programs, a microbial food safety pilot area, a commercial scale creamery processing milk, ice cream and cultured products, a laboratory and a campus retail sales room with outdoor alumni café style courtyards.

A new ammonia compressor and refrigeration equipment to support research and teaching programs is also included in the facility. The building program calls for dedicated and joint-use research laboratories for every faculty member’s research program as well as chemistry and microbiology teaching laboratories.

The University desired the building architecture to make a statement about the importance of the food processing and manufacturing sectors. To emphasize the importance of these areas, IKM’s design had to ensure high visibility for the Creamery Processing/Manufacturing area and also the Pilot Plants while also providing specific attention to flexibility of usage related to technology and equipment.

Alumni and current students revere the University Creamery and consequently it generates much good will. The location, visibility, and accessibility of the Creamery salesroom is critical to the financial viability of this auxiliary enterprise, however, the area’s design needed to ensure full integration with academic programs so that it continues to function as an academic support unit.

The building’s has been designed to encourage collaboration among faculty members and students encompassing the location and design of faculty office space and laboratory space, space for informal interactions, and joint-use research space. It is anticipated that the new facility will enhance the University’s competitiveness for extramural research funding and for recruitment of faculty members and students in the growing food science field.