Skirkanich Hall, University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Located in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania, Skirkanich Hall is home to the Bioengineering Department. It is an infill building that functions as a connector by creating a new public quadrangle and entry for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Movement and interaction is emphasized with generous circulation spaces that offer places to sit and gather. The building is cantilevered over the street and descends twenty feet below grade to minimize vertical impact. An open atrium continues up from the ground through five floors above. The laboratories are placed on either side. A vibrant yellow tile with a changing pattern enhances the core space. To subtly stand out from the red brick buildings next door, a new kind of brick was developed through an extensive process to balance texture, color, durability, and stability. The mossy green colored brick changes with the light of the day. Giant glass shingles contrast the density of the surrounding masonry and bring filtered light into the laboratories. Visitors and students can either enter the building, or pass through it to reach a pair of courtyards. The larger court serves as a public plaza and passageway, while a more intimate garden is sunken and screened.

Completed, 2006