Mountaintop Campus

, Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

exterior detail
exterior view
Study Space
Study space

Hands-on, research-driven exploration is key at Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus. Once a series of cavernous Bethlehem Steel buildings, Page's modernization team transformed the facilities into an invention incubator. Students are freed from standard curricula and challenged to take control of their education, learning by doing.

Bike atop the forested hill, look over the view, and discover Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus, a research-driven environment where students test the limits of what’s possible in their academic studies.

Find yourself inside a giant, open room with 40-foot ceilings and look up to see discovery on display as teams work inside the “mixing box,” a large glass-enclosed room. Here, students can meet with faculty and peers while observing the inventive work below.

The industrial main room is left open to the creative mind, and movable, flexible makerspaces allow students to collaboratively address real-life problems with everything from engineering and biology to sociology and music.

The limitless environment has fueled innovation, where projects like 3D printing prosthetics for stroke victims, harvesting plants for the hungry, or even studying breeding habits of endangered fish are the norm.

At Mountaintop, you just might witness an invention that can change the world.

Building Facts

  • 40-Foot Ceilings
  • 63,000 GSF Modernization
  • 742 Acres
  • Historic Preservation, Modernization
  • Architecture, MEP & Structural Engineering, Programming, Energy Analysis, Construction Administration
  • Mixing Box
  • Collaboration Spaces
  • Entry Pavilion
  • Cantilevered Conference Facility

Realizing Creative Potential

This dynamic experiment is conducted within the high-bay spaces of a former Bethlehem Steel industrial complex. The adaptive use design of the long unoccupied 1960s facility transformed the appearance and energy performance to create a flagship center for innovation, incorporating a glass "mixing box" and Makerspaces.

Hands-on Learning by Making

Breakthrough spaces are helping higher education transform how students learn, and how faculty teach.

There is an unleashing of student talent, we let them play, we let them explore, and they find a thrill in the ambiguity.

Alan Snyder Lehigh University President