Winner of the 1999 Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture’s Award for Design Excellence, the DSPH+FC consists of 70,000 s.f. of new construction and 45,000 s.f. of renovated facilities at the University of Pennsylvania.
The project is structured around 3 key architectural design strategies:
The Dual Fronted Building
By creating a building with two ‘front doors’, the project is configured to be a continuation of Sansom Commons, a series of pedestrian streets, shops and cafes that are at the heart of Penn’s ‘Town and Gown’ master plan.
The exterior skin of the building is designed as a system of overlapping, transparent and translucent glass layers. Meant to call attention to the ‘see and be seen’ nature of its programs by highlighting patrons during peak hours of use, the facility becomes increasingly transparent as the sun fades.
An interior circulation spine between the new and existing architecture, running the length of the building, connects street to street. A series of balconies or ‘trays’ display the elevated track, cardio and stretching areas. By visually intertwining typically insular programs with public space, the project successfully promotes health and fitness through the very people who use it.