Pennovation Center

The University of Pennsylvania

A Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Engine for Innovation

Pennovation Center

The University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

65,000 SF Addition and Renovation

LEED Gold Recognition

the opportunity

As Executive Architect, KSS facilitated a thoughtful process of creativity, careful management, and thorough oversight of the entire design team. The result is the cutting-edge home for the next generation of global innovation—a dynamic environment where inventiveness is translated into viable ventures.

our approach

Located on a 23-acre former DuPont research site across the Schuylkill River from Penn’s campus core, Pennovation is an iconic landmark for the University. Its redesign takes advantage of the building’s strong industrial bones by keeping infrastructure exposed and the floors, columns, and façade as raw as possible. While much of the robust existing façade is maintained, selective intervention on the north façade marries history with progress. This sculptural intervention serves as an illuminated beacon for Pennovation, expressing the entrepreneurial ecosystem within and projecting it forward to the established heart of campus.

Our Process


Business Incubator, Offices, Wet and dry labs, Co-working desk spaces, Studio spaces, Meeting rooms, Central presentation “bleacher,” Social spaces


ULI Philadelphia Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence, 2017

Community Impact Award, CREW Philadelphia, 2016

Best Adaptive Reuse Project, Curbed Philadelphia, 2016

Preservation Alliance Grand Jury Award, 2017

AIA Philadelphia Design Merit Award, 2017