Unforgettable Buildings

Impactful architectural design for all building typologies



Every architect can design a building, but few can add the elusive magic that makes a building unforgettable and gives purpose to both its place and the people who occupy it.  


Recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s “10 Most Innovative Firms,” HWKN unleashes the unforgettable power of architecture by shaping buildings with a unique mix of familiarity, emotion, and novelty. These factors are scientifically proven to trigger memory events and create a lasting impression on those who experience them. The goal is to add value beyond the typical real estate matrix with a deep emotional connection that makes users and customers remember and keep coming back. 


HWKN’s design for Pennovation, the centerpiece of the University of Pennsylvania’s new innovation campus, extends the structural grid of the existing building and sculpts it into a new campus icon using interior public spaces to shape the exterior form. These innovative spaces (including a “pitch bleacher,” an entrepreneur bar, and a visitor center) create a dynamic facade that is a reflection of the purpose and mission of this new neighborhood. While adding value to the performance of the building, this public-facing statement also generated immediate awareness for the school’s new innovation platform in the larger civic context of Philadelphia as well as in the global media.


Other Unforgettable Buildings include:


  • Pennovation (Placemaking design with a 5% facade addition)
  • Skyler (Multigenerational living designed for aging and engagement)
  • Baumhaus (Heavy timber building with sculptural entrance for semi-public activities)
  • Pines Pavilion (A new face for a vacation community)


Additional Scope:

Opportunity Mapping

Forward-Thinking Typologies