Bohler Student Housing Project Awarded Best On-Campus Renovation

21 May, 2024


The Accolade on Chestnut, a 588-bed student housing community located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, has been awarded the prestigious “Best On-Campus Renovation of Existing University Housing” at the Student Housing Business 14th Annual Innovator Awards. This recognition highlights the exceptional efforts made to transform the facility into a modern, vibrant living and learning environment.

A Landmark Transformation

The renovation of the Accolade on Chestnut, completed by Greystar in the Fall of 2023, was driven by a commitment to enhance the graduate student experience while keeping rental rates affordable. With a budget of $97.5 million, Greystar undertook a comprehensive modernization of the building’s interior while preserving its historic exterior. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that caters to the needs of modern students. The building now boasts upgraded common areas, including a fitness and wellness center, meeting rooms, study spaces, and entertainment areas, all adorned with contemporary lighting and art that reflect the University’s rich academic heritage.

Revitalizing the Outdoor Plaza

Bohler’s planning, landscape architecture, and design team played a pivotal role in refreshing and enhancing the existing outdoor plaza. Their efforts were focused on revitalizing the exterior and building façade, providing a welcoming pedestrian connection, and ensuring a seamless flow from the streetscape to the building’s entry and internal amenity spaces. The new plantings, furnishings, materials, and lighting all contribute to a more inviting and functional outdoor environment.


The design aims to create a sense of place within the urban plaza, which is activated through adaptable programming within outdoor rooms at various levels. These enhancements improve the overall aesthetic of the plaza, including hardscape, landscaping, and the building façade at pedestrian level. The upgraded amenities include seating areas with fire pits, grilling stations, a pergola, and additional gathering spaces. Additionally, the plaza features accent lighting, programmable zones, and enhanced security lighting, all contributing to a safer and more enjoyable space for residents and visitors.

Bohler’s site civil engineering team prepared the design and permitting documents required to complete the improvements and coordinated with relevant city agencies to obtain approvals.

A Modern, Vibrant Community

The Accolade on Chestnut’s transformation is a testament to the collaborative efforts of Greystar and Bohler, combining historic preservation with modern amenities to create a unique living experience for graduate students. Read more here.

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