University of Pennsylvania – Pennovation Center

Project Type: LEED

University of Pennsylvania
Pennovation Center
Architect: KSS Architects/HWKN

A modern, angular 58,000 square-foot business incubator and laboratory adjacent to Penn’s campus, the Pennovation Center is a hive of entrepreneurial technology-based startup activity. It is funded both by Penn and by private-sector investors who are dedicated to the collaboration between students, faculty, the local community, and the larger business community in general.

Fit out from a 20th-century paint factory, the building boasts state-of-the-art labs, co-working areas, social spaces, and garage-style production areas. A large central corridor for meetings, collaboration, and networking events is located on the first floor.

The facility opened in the summer of 2016 and has been well-received by both the academic and architectural communities for its design and functionality. There is no shortage of boldness in the execution of both the interior and exterior of the building, and the resultant angularity presented some unique challenges from an acoustical programming point of view.

We designed the acoustics for the main corridor and co-working spaces so that they could be used for their intended individual functions within the greater open plan of the building. Additionally, due to the open structure design, mechanical systems are exposed throughout so very careful attention to managing noise and vibration from the equipment was key to the great acoustics and sound quality in the interior spaces. After initially seeking LEED Silver certification, in early 2017 the building achieved LEED Gold due to its adaptive reuse of materials, stormwater management, and careful attention to the quality of the interior environment.