The new nanotech research building at the University of Pennsylvania cements the school’s status as a global leader in scientific research and education. The cross-disciplinary facility combines the school of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the school of Arts and Sciences and features state-of-the-art lab spaces.
Architectural massing around a central courtyard and the various facade treatments evoke these many facets of the building’s functions and their interrelationships. In particular, the curtain wall and custom glass design explore various degrees of materiality and transparency to interior walls and public spaces.
The certified LEED Gold building also utilizes a rainscreen system of formed metal panels that wrap the delicate research laboratories at the north side of the site. The interior includes a glass atrium that invites interaction with the landscaped southern lawn, and an ascending spiral of multi-use spaces that culminates in a meeting area that cantilevers over and defines the space, while opening up views of the city. The custom patterned fritted glass reduces glare, prevents solar heat gain, and creates patterns of light and shadow that change throughout the day, and the eliminates certain UV wavelengths from daylighting to research spaces.
Heintges provided curtain wall and building envelope consulting services during all phases of design and construction.
Photographs 1-5 by Albert Vecerka/Esto; Photographs 6-9 by Heintges.