The University of Pennsylvania

Tangen Hall

Philadelphia, PA

Project Details

A Toolbox for the University

Tangen Hall is envisioned as a “Toolbox for the University,” a vertical community knit together by a vibrant collaboration of three schools—the Wharton School, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Design. Each floor is branded by a destination program that acts as a magnet, drawing people vertically through the building. The design focuses on fluid interaction at various scales, from large-scale collaborations at the ground floor maker lab to cross-disciplinary team workshops on the upper floors. 

A simple, utilitarian framework and infrastructure allow programmatic evolution and flexibility. Systems are fed from top down, to allow easy reconfiguration of interior spaces and give user groups the ability to modify space over time in tune with their changing needs. 

On the façade, a playful and vibrant color gradient acts as a metaphor to the vibrant and dynamic nature of the building’s interior. Just as movement in daylight across the façade illuminates the color gradient in an unpredictable fashion, the building’s interior is programmed to ebb and flow in support of continuous engagement and collaboration. The exterior color gradient is folded into the interior and mapped across the lobby and through the central staircase. At street level, the design establishes a dialogue between public domain and maker culture by treating the maker lab as a front door that enriches the pedestrian experience.

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