Sasaki has twice collaborated with the Wharton School on space plans. The initial plan built on the framework of Sasaki's university-wide Penn Connects Vision Plan, understanding overall school space needs in the context of a potential new executive education facility; the update holistically estimated all school requirements, validating findings from the original study, and extending them with new planning assumptions. Through an iterative process augmented by Sasaki's software, the team developed strategic space plans that meet both Wharton's immediate concerns, and its long-term needs, ensuring the school can act strategically when making capital investment decisions, and positioning the school for continued excellence in the years ahead.
Sasaki worked with individual departments, faculty, staff, and school leadership to identify priorities, needs, and concerns. The school's space information and course schedule were integrated into a comprehensive space model using our interactive graphical web tools which enables stakeholders to explore space assignments, room use, and classroom utilization both in the context of the university campus and at the floor plan level.
Sasaki and Wharton used the integrated space model to develop a comprehensive program of future needs focused on instructional space, office space, and collaborative space. This third category was particularly important given recent shifts in pedagogy, and a research emphasis that blurs the boundaries between traditional disciplines. The model incorporated Wharton's best practices, national and regional space standards, and Sasaki's best judgment, resulting from work with over four hundred colleges and universities. The program of future needs, allied with the potential new executive education facility allowed for the creation of a long-term facility strategy to meet the college's needs through a combination of new construction and backfill.
Wharton confronted a number of immediate and short-term space-related concerns. Sasaki worked with the school to develop several near-term move sequences which address these immediate problems, alleviating pressures, and reinforcing the school's collaborative agenda. Sasaki's software was able to graphically illustrate these sequences in a way that made the domino effect clear to the university's senior management, carefully tracking changes in stakeholders' net square footage, and reducing the complexity of what was previously seen to be an almost intractable problem.
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