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Rendering from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects


Penn’s campus always appears to be buzzing with construction, and many more new buildings are already underway. From the time the new freshman class steps on campus for the first time as students this fall through the end of their senior year in 2022, the campus is bound to look very different. Here are some of the ongoing projects that the new freshmen can expect to see by the time of their graduation. 

Wharton Academic Research Building

In a few years, Huntsman Hall will no longer be the only central hub of Wharton students. The new Wharton Academic Research Building — which started construction this spring and is slated to be finished by the summer of 2020 — will provide more classrooms, group study rooms, research centers and shared conference rooms. Located on 37th and Spruce Streets, the new building will be connected to the south side of Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall. 

Additional plans for the exterior of the five-story, triangle-shaped structure include a redesigned loading dock, a small open-air plaza and a bicycle rack for student and faculty use. While the Wharton School initially requested $60 million for the project, it has been granted $75 million to complete construction. 

This new building will join a host of other existing Wharton facilities, including Huntsman Hall, Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and Vanice Hall. 

New College House West

Penn has added yet another dorm to its portfolio of housing facilities. New College House West, a 13-story residential building for undergraduates, is designed to allow more Penn students into the College House System. The record-breaking $163 million construction project is scheduled to be open to students by Fall 2021. 

NCHW will feature typical suites with four bedrooms and a small kitchenette. The layout mirrors the interior of New College House, who was designed by the same architect that will be designing NCHW – Bohlin Cywinski Jackson architects. 

The new dorm will be constructed on 40th and Walnut Streets, where the high rise field is currently located. Its location has ignited criticism from some students, who said that the new building would take away one of the few remaining green spaces on campus. 

Hospital Pavillion 

Penn Medicine is rapidly expanding, with the construction of a new Hospital Pavilion at the Henry A. Jordan Medical Education Center as its latest ambitious project. The $1.5 billion project is Philadelphia’s most “ambitious health care building project,” according to Penn Medicine, and is slated to be completed by 2021. 

The new pavilion primarily will house inpatient care for heart and vascular medicine and surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, as well as the Abramson Cancer Center and a new emergency department. 

The new health pavilion will be designed to adapt for future changes in healthcare technology, like allowing the hospital’s 500 private patient rooms to be converted to different kinds of units, for instance. The new center will also allow doctors to use new surgical techniques and imaging technologies in caring for their patients. 

Venture Lab

As part of the “Power of Penn” fundraising campaign – the largest one yet in Penn’s history – will finance the creation of Venture Lab, a new student entrepreneurship center to be located on 40th and Sansom Streets. 

Unlike the Pennovation Center, which serves as an entrepreneurship center from a “corporate-type” lens for companies and investors, the new building will engage all Penn students and is meant to serve as a “launch pad” for spurring student startups. 

“It is point blank open to all students at the University of Pennsylvania, seven days a week for most of the day to provide resources and support,” said Chair of the Power of Penn Campaign Bob Levy. “It is intended to promote entrepreneurship and innovation which are not Wharton or Engineering only.”

The construction end date has not yet been released. 

Other new buildings/renovations

Though it has not yet been named, a new science research building will be constructed on the south side of 32nd and Walnut Streets. The facility, financed by the Power of Penn fundraising campaign, will primarily serve as a hub for energy science research initiatives, bringing in physical scientists and engineers. 

The Graduate School of Education is expanding. Also sponsored by the Power of Penn Campaign, the current building will undergo renovations and see the addition of a brand new student pavilion. 25,000 square-feet will be added to the existing edifice, merging with the neighboring Stiteler Hall and receiving an additional two-story building. 

Additionally, the campaign will finance a new indoor training facility behind the Hollenback Center and Penn Dental’s Schattner Pavilion. 

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