The Pennovation Center

An Icon for Innovation

A 20th century paint factory is transformed into a 21st century idea factory. This building is the centerpiece of a new, twenty-three acre campus at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. While most of the building is occupied by state-of-the-art labs and efficient co-working areas, key social spaces tempt entrepreneurs to leave their desks and engage with their colleagues. These spaces are tucked into a new angular facade that reaches outward towards the Schuylkill River, featuring a bar, a board room, and bleacher seating where inventors can share ideas, pitch to investors, and gain crucial perspective. The building inspires creativity within, while simultaneously telling the world outside that Penn is a leader in the field of innovation.

  • Status: Built 2016
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Client: University of Pennsylvania
  • Size: 69,310 SF
  • Scope: SD-CA
  • Performance: LEED Gold
  • Honors: Received a Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, Named in WIRED's list of 25 Masterpieces that prove 2016 was an incredible year for architecture, named by Fast.Co as one of the best office designs of 2016, named by Redshift as one of the 10 most innovative architectural projects of 2016, named in Curbed Philadelphia's list of the best new architecture and urban design of 2016, received an Honorable Mention in the Architect's Newspaper 2016 Best of Design Awards, winner of the CREW Philadelphia 2016 Community Impact Award
  • Team: Matthias Hollwich, SBA Marc Kushner, AIA Caitlin Swaim, Amanda Azzahra, Jordan Doane, Patrick Herron, Alberto Herzog, Cynthia Hsu, Ignas Kalinauskas, Taesoo Kim, Jessica Kobloch, SJ Kwon, Alda Ly, Robert May, Daniel Selensky, Gagandeep Singh, Fan Zhang
  • Architect of Record: KSS Architects
  • Landscape Architect: Land Collective
  • Signage and Wayfinding: Bruce Mau Design
  • Structural and MEP Engineer: Ballinger
  • Environmental Engineer: Atelier Ten
  • Lighting Design: Focus Lighting
  • General Contractor: Hunter Roberts
  • Photographer: Michael Moran and Will Belcher