Architecture at Penn State
Connor Pritz is one of 56 fourth-year architecture students at Penn State. Originally from Doylestown, Pa., he is a passionate and perceptive artist with an unwavering hunger for challenge.
Most of an aspiring architect’s time at Penn State is spent at studio, in the Stuckeman Family Building, where students learn the ins and outs of structure and design.
Walking through one of the four floors in Stuckeman, there are large designing tables everywhere. Row after row of drawing boards, building models, materials, posters and blueprints. Students eat, work and sleep at their desks during the busiest of weeks.
Each student has their own workspace for the year, where they must conceptualize, model and demonstrate their many assigned projects. An average day for an architect is far from normal. Most of their time is dedicated to their work, and each student is responsible for managing their time to complete their work. In the later years of the architecture program, the steps and structure of assignments become more and more flexible; leaving the power to the students.
Pritz is working in a team this year with fellow arch majors Jesse Quezada and Brian Gruendl. They were assigned to redesign and repurpose an abandoned warehouse in Bellefonte. There are multiple fourth year groups assigned the same site; each has a different plan for its redesign.
Darla Lindberg has been an architecture professor at Penn State for 20 years. She says the program can be very demanding on the students with the amount of curriculum packed into each semester. Although about 80 students are accepted into the major, only 40-50 on average graduate at the end of the program.
Pritz says he is excited to really get into the professional aspects of architecture in his fifth year, and he’s even considering going on to get his master's degree.
Final Projects in Architecture
Students are assigned an old abandoned warehouse near Bellefonte to design, repurpose and rebuild for future public use. Aside from Pritz's group, here's a quick look at what a couple other groups are working on.