Work in Progress, continued
left: the Biomedical Research Building,
in May; work proceeds in the
the Schuylkill to 34th StreetA
commercial residential venture, recreation and a mix of new academic and
East Side, Westside.
At the eastern edge of Penns campus, the University has leased
the former GE Building, a vacant warehouse at 31st and Chestnut Street
that it has owned since 1996, to a local developer to be converted into
a high-end apartment complex. The $54 million project, which wont
use any University or public money, is scheduled to open in 2001. It calls
for 285 apartments, retail and office space, a rooftop fitness center
and an indoor parking garage for residents. The main entrance for the
complex, to be called Westside Commons, will be at 32nd and Walnut streets.
While the building is not designed as University housing, its expected
to attract students, faculty and staff who might otherwise choose Center
City apartments, and it should help brighten the approach to the campus
along Walnut Street.
Plans call for work to start next spring on a new wing of the University
of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The 35,000-square-foot
facility will provide much-needed, climate-controlled storage space for
the museums collectionssome 90 percent of which are currently
stored in the basements of the original wings of the Museum in far-from-ideal
conditionsand offices for people working with the collections. The
addition will be named for A. Bruce (C'47) and Margaret (Ed'47 Hon'85)
Mainwaring, who have contributed $3.5 million toward construction.
The new wing will
project out toward South Street. The storage area will be on the east
side of the building, which will be windowless to allow control of light,
temperature and humidity. The western side, which faces onto an existing
courtyard, will be for offices and seminar rooms. The façade on
that side will echo the materials and design of the older wings, and the
courtyard will also be relandscaped. Architects on the project are Atkin,
Olshin, Lawson-Bell and Associates.
New Fields to
Conquer. Work was scheduled to be finished this month on a $350,000
project to shift Bower Field, formerly Penns baseball field, to
general recreational uses in order to centralize
the recreation program. However, this summers drought has put off
sodding until the fall. The baseball teams new home will be Murphy
Field, which is undergoing a $2 million conversion, including construction
of bermed seating for 1,000, to be finished in time for the spring 2000
Next to the field,
a $63 million chilled water plant to provide air conditioning and process
cooling water for campus buildings is under construction. Besides providing
an ultimate capacity of 50,000 tons of water and allowing the University
to retire three older facilities, the plant boasts an architectural design
incorporating a monumental perforated metal screen, which has been featured
in Architecture magazine and other publications. The plant is scheduled
to start providing chilled water in May 2000.
What is now a parking lot and loading dock between the Towne Building
and the Graduate Research Wing of the Moore School Building will become
the home of the Center for Computer Information and Cognitive Sciences.
Known as IAST II because it is the second phase of the planned five-phase
Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (the first involved construction
of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Laboratories, which opened in November 1997),
the $15 million building will be named for Melvin J. Levine W46
and his wife Claire, who gave $5 million to the project. Now in preliminary
design and tentatively scheduled to open in November 2001, the four-story
structure, totaling 39,000 square feet, will provide laboratories for
teaching and research in computer and information science; also included
will be a café within the graduate wing and surrounding walks and
More Medical Research
Space. In May, the Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III) opened.
Designed by the architectural firm Perkins and Will, the $149 million,
15-story structure includes 11 floors of laboratories, along with an auditorium,
a café, bookstore and seminar rooms on the lower floors. The buildings
384,000 square feet brings together 800 researchers and support staff
in disciplines such as cell and development biology, reproductive biology,
gene therapy and other related fields that had previously been scattered
across the Health Systems other facilities.
According to plans
announced last fall, Penn and the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
will redevelop 10.7 acres of the 19.2 acre site of the former Philadelphia
Civic Center to construct a cancer treatment and research center, as well
as parking facilities and commercial space. Penn would get most of the
land and bear the cost of demolishing the existing buildings and environmentally
remediating the area; CHOP would pay $3 million for a 2.5 acre parcel.
The University would also pay $320 million of the estimated $450 million
total cost to redevelop the site, with CHOP picking up most of the rest.