Pennovation Wins Honor for Preservation

April 3, 2017
Philly Mag — by Sandy Smith

“The architectural team that transformed a Grays Ferry paint laboratory into an idea laboratory has received a high honor from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

The alliance has bestowed its 2017 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award upon Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) of New York and Philadelphia-based KSS Architects, who worked jointly on the Pennovation Center project.

The Pennovation Center is the linchpin of the 23-acre site the University of Pennsylvania acquired from DuPont with the goal of creating an ‘innovation district’ where cutting-edge academic research and entrepreneurship can cross-pollinate.

The brick-and-concrete lab got a new north facade that transforms the building into a futuristic ship, somewhat reminiscent of the boats that carried American soldiers onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and larger windows that open up its interior. Inside, wet labs, a fabrication lab, coworking spaces and common areas for socializing and events stimulate interaction between Penn researchers, students and entrepreneurs.”