The University of Pennsylvania will add another piece of cutting-edge architecture to its already impressive portfolio of built works with the HWKN-designed Pennovation Center. The 58,000-square-foot structure is set to anchor Pennovation Works, a 23-acre industrial site along the Schuylkill River that the university is turning into a research and innovation district. For the new center, HWKN is overhauling an existing warehouse—gutting its interior and creating a crystalline facade with three stories of illuminated, angular glass panels that push out of the building’s masonry shell.
The interior of the Pennovation Center is designed to foster collaboration and resembles many of today’s high-tech companies and startups: open meeting areas, long tables, and exposed industrial beams. On the building’s eastern facade, garage doors open into studio spaces “as a nod to the many startups which have previously begun in personal garages,” said the university in a statement.
Two of the Center’s floors are reserved for co-working spaces to be used by university students and local companies. These areas come equipped with wet and dry labs and meeting areas. The Penn Engineering Field Research Center occupies the other floor. The $37.5 million project also includes a new plaza directly adjacent to the Pennovation Center.
Completion is expected in the summer of 2016.