School of Architecture for Penn Design

Author(s)

Project Description

Critic

Mark Foster Gage

The University Of Pennsylvania School Of Architecture projects its identity from the exterior. Autonomous in its spherical volume, it is fundamentally confined and presents fortitude and speculation in its totality. Anchored by three cores, the building rises from a reflective study grotto at its base to a domed grand library at its apex. A single focal point within the centrifugal void organizes the building-- the review space. A tripartite review platform operates mechanically between studio floors to allow for a dynamic educational experience. For a larger review or event, the platform joins as one plane and transforms the atrium into an auditorium. Studio and classroom spaces radiate around this activated center and are also wrapped by outdoor terraces for individual contemplation or gathering. The pure and simple geometry of the building allows for both uniform and diverse spaces as well as discrete and continuous spaces for a variety of pedagogical events.