School of Architecture for Penn Design

Author(s)

Project Description

Critic

Mark Foster Gage

Though light and airy, the tree coverage on this particular site is substantial. Ultimately the tree canopy is composed of individual leaves – small and meaningless when single, but vast and significant when multiplied in numbers. The unit of a tree canopy is a leaf. The unit of a sandcastle is a grain of sand. What is the unit of an architecture school? Aggregation of a simple 5’ x 5’ x 12’ frame provides the UPenn School of Design with a unique appearance from all sides of entry. The building’s boundaries are ambiguous. The large bulk of the 120,000 ft2 program is mitigated with this logic that is consistent inside and outside of the building. The structure, exterior, interior, floor plates, systems, lighting, enclosure – factors that typically have their own expression, dimensions, and color – here, are all unified to speak the same architectural language.