School of Nursing

Client: University of Pennsylvania

By SMP Architects with support by David Quadrini.  

The School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania called its current location home for many decades and its facilities no longer reflected the values that the program wished to project.  Many building-wide improvements were made during the course of this project including the updating of all lobbies  to create a more open and welcoming atmosphere for faculty, staff, and students.  To improve the dark and interior-focused orientation of these areas, the addition of light wood paneling, integrated display cases, and an array of floating acoustic panels (made from a material comprised of recycled beer bottles) brought the oversized scale of the lobbies down to a more comfortable and intimate scale.  

An underutilized exterior courtyard within the center of the building was also modified to allow for a more integrated experience in the renovated building.  As part of the new construction, a green roof with a moderately sized gathering space was created.  The walking path looping around the green roof is made of solid glass panels to allow daylight to flood interior spaces within the center of the building.  Finally, the planting of the green roof within the courtyard is done so with plants that were historically used for medicinal purposes in the early days of medicine.

Warehouse Feasibility, Programming, and Building Assessment 

Client: Common Market

Common Market, a mission-driven distributor of local foods to the Mid-Atlantic region asked our studio  to perform a building assessment of a warehouse on Erie Avenue in Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood. Our work helped Common Market assess their needs and the ability of the existing building to meet their requirements.  Utilizing our expertise in adaptive reuse, phasing, and planning, our work allowed Common Market to make an informed decision as to the feasibility of this property for their operations.


Adaptive Reuse of Light and Shade Factory

Client: Private Developer.

This programming and feasibility study was commissioned by our client to envision what this vacant building could become. Through careful research of the neighborhood and surrounding districts we identified potential users and projected space requirements to serve them.  The large floor plate and awkward shape presented spatial layout challenges.  We investigated ways to make the space more efficient with respect to utilities, maximize the flexibility of the space to allow for various tenant requirements, and ensure maximum daylight to all spaces to increase desirability for the space.  Finally, we proposed modifications to the exterior of the building to create a more welcoming and connected street presence.

School of Social Policy and Practice

Client: The University of Pennsylvania.

By BWA Architecture + Planning with support by David Quadrini and Brian Szymanik.  

The Caster Building was originally constructed in the 1950's on Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania's Campus.  With an entrance that faced an interior courtyard, the existing building essentially turned its back on what has become the most vibrant pedestrian thoroughfare on the University's campus.  The purpose of this renovation was to explore how to reassert this well-established College into the day-to-day life of the campus.

The new entrance, now facing what was originally the rear of the building is literally and figuratively a transparent threshold connecting this campus artery to the interior of building to anyone willing to come inside. Working with the client mandate to respect the existing context and fabric of Locust Walk, this project eliminated the original impediments and added new elements in a thoughtful way.  The end result is well detailed, easily accessible entrance that creates a new gateway for the School of Social Policy and Practice.


Tiadaghton State Forest Resource Management Center

Client: Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, District 12.

By SMP Architects with support from David Quadrini. 

Located on a reclaimed farm site in the mountains of Pennsylvania overlooking some of the deepest valleys in the state, this new facility is the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry District 12.  The building also serves as a  visitor center providing trail access and community meeting space for local residents throughout the year.  This building is designed to act as a threshold between the wilderness and day-to-day operations of both the foresters and the  community-at-large.  The building is sited to take advantage of the wonderful views and scenery our state forests have to offer.  The building is also intended to be a conversation starter in expressing the different ways Pennsylvania forests, and the wood harvested from them, can impact our lives.  Some sustainable features to note include an educational green roof, water cistern for the harvesting of rain water for the purposes of maintaining non-potable building systems, and the installation of wood as a building material harvested from trees removed from the site due to construction and wind storms.  

© 2013