School of Architecture for Penn Design

Project Description

This project for a design school for the University of Pennsylvania started with the aspiration to create overlap and interchange between the city, student body, faculty, and architecture students. At the site level, the project acts as a bridge between the urban fabric and the campus. Following a study of paths of natural travel on the site, trails have been carved out of the building mass. People are redirected through the central void of the school without having to penetrate the envelope of the building. Internally, the school unfolds as two systems of platforms that cycle around a central void connected by double helix ramps. The platforms always overlap to create visual connections between the different spaces and generate a dialogue between the two cycles. On the same level, the platforms are connected by a band of programmed bridges that act as gathering spaces for collaborative work.