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tangen-hall

A rendering of Tangen Hall was presented during a Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday.

Credit: Ashley Ahn

Penn announced plans to complete Tangen Hall, the first student entrepreneurship hub at Penn, by August 2020 at a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

Tangen Hall's construction will cost $46.35 million and will span 68,000 square feet, KSS Architects partner Petar Mattioni announced at the meeting. The seven-story building's creation was announced in October 2018 and will be located at the intersection of 40th and Sansom streets. Construction will begin in May 2019.

The building will house the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship program, which provides faculty advising, financial support, and entrepreneurship courses to Penn students looking to establish their own startups. The hall will also create spaces for collaboration between Wharton, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Design.

Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett said Penn is considering requiring students to apply for membership to enter the building so the facilities could be restricted to students who are working on entrepreneurship ideas.

“If we have a membership, it will allow us to monitor activity because we will have a swipe card," he said. "If you are a member, you get it in, and if you’re not a member, you will be asked questions about your project."

The consideration of adding the membership is so that the building will not only be a study space for students, but rather a building focused on entrepreneurial activities, Garrett said.

Garrett added there are approximately 1,000 students in Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship who are “actively engaged” and invested in their entrepreneurial projects.

Mattioni said the space will include a test kitchen for food-centric startups and office space for student-led ventures.

In October 2018, the charity branch of a company founded by 1992 Wharton graduate Nicolai Tangen donated $25 million to start construction on Tangen Hall. It will be designed by the same architects who drafted plans for the Pennovation Center, which houses offices, labs, and production spaces for startups and officially opened in September 2016.

Mattioni said the building will be “transparent and translucent” so that “people walking along this building will be able to get deep views into the facility.” He added that the architects are considering making Tangen's exterior colors green and blue.

Penn President Amy Gutmann said she advocated for the bright colors because she didn't want "just a glass building that is gray."

“We want our buildings to be signature buildings and basically shout that the University of Pennsylvania designs buildings really worth looking at,” Gutmann said. “Because it has a very special function, we don’t want to look like the other institutions."

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