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bok high school corridor reuse, philadelphia pa

*drag the arrows to slide between before and after views. select the rectangle in the upper right corner to expand to full-screen*

brief: In 2014 the shuttered BOK High School was converted to affordable space for a wide variety of users: makers, artists, restaurants, showrooms, and charitable organizations are all housed in the previously empty classrooms. The spacious corridors however remain empty & quiet. This project aims to recapture that corridor space for extra small tenants & shared amenities.



One of the most critical functions for BOK is workspace, specifically closet-sized spaces for people looking to move their businesses out of their homes. Lockers can be removed to create niches for micro-workstations – a work surface with connectivity, a chair and a nearby dedicated locker for storage. These workstations could be leased like a co-working membership, providing an additional source of revenue for BOK and a low-cost space option for up and coming new businesses. 

One of the most requested and fundamental resources for a shared workspace is a common pantry. In addition to providing basic services, it also becomes a gathering place to foster social interaction as people grab a morning coffee or gather for lunch. The large island provides ample workspace, seating, and trash/recycling/compost areas, and can serve as a bar for evening events. A ceiling mounted projector and screen can be used for presentations, either by tenants during the day or leased to other guests in the evening.


Nearly every tenant asked for some type of lounge seating area to get out of their own space, interact with other tenants, and take a break. Another highly requested item was privacy pods; no matter what kind of work environment you have, a quiet little cube is an asset. Additionally, as shown on the right, sections of lockers can be removed and replaced with glazing to create display cabinets for tenants or general BOK messaging.

conference center

Regardless of size, the majority of businesses will, at times, need to host meetings. Shown here are two (2) 8 person meeting rooms divided by a movable marker board partition so the rooms can be reconfigured as needed. In addition to the writable surface, each room has a display monitor and layout/storage credenza. The 6 ft high semi-transparent partitions provide visual privacy without restricting air or light, and the felt wall panels and light fixtures provide acoustic baffling.

tech center

Devices like plotters, 3D printers, or high capacity multifunction devices are expensive and take up valuable real estate. Much like the meeting room, they are ideally suited to sharing.  This design uses the same style of  partition as the meeting rooms, however they are lower to create a defined enclosure while remaining visually open. Additional task lighting is supplied via complementary felt covered fixtures for some acoustic baffling of the equipment noise.

living room

Increasingly people are looking to blur the lines between socializing and work, and while a corridor does not allow for a tremendous recreation center, it can accommodate a large screen tv, soft seating and a multi-game table. Also shown is a locker-to-storefront conversion, where lockers are removed and replaced with interior glazing to create windows into tenant spaces, much like traditional storefronts. In addition to fostering curiosity and interest between tenants and guests, the depth of the window cavity naturally lends itself to display, be it merchandise for sale, business advertising or simply something fun.

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