The University of Pennsylvania

Pennovation Center

Philadelphia, PA

Project Details

A vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem & engine for innovation

The 23-acre former DuPont industrial site along the Schuylkill River, in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Grays Ferry, is the next generation of Philadelphia and global innovation. Pennovation Center, a brick and mortar factory relic, is the site’s anchor building and an iconic landmark for Penn. The Pennovation Center’s program enables entrepreneurs, researchers, and industry partners to translate inventiveness into viable ventures in a dynamic environment. 

Co-working space has been amalgamated and centralized to connect offices, labs, and shared resources—allowing engineers to break out from their laboratory space and work cross-curricular with other lessees. In addition to co-working desk space, the common area includes meeting rooms, social space, and a “bleacher” to facilitate the many pitches that start-up companies typically present. This central space, above all else, is an area of intersections—where disciplines, theories, and brilliant ideas overlap and collide in a spectacular array of what-if, outside-the-box, next-big-thing thinking, doing, and “we’re going to need more space” happening.

KSS, as the executive architect,  facilitated a thoughtful process through creativity, careful management, and thorough oversight in all aspects of the team’s work. Collaborating with HWKN as design architect, the team created a cutting edge home for the next generation of entrepreneurship in the region. Pennovation Center’s design is both an inspiration and a testament to the University’s mission of fostering innovation by creating vital, vibrant, and prolific intersections.

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