University of Pennsylvania

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University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

Project Description

Using reclaimed space, including the existing facade of the historic Franklin Field stadium, the George A. Weiss pavilion features a strength-and-conditioning center for student-athletes, a fitness center open to all students, fitness instruction space, café/retail space fronting a new campus park and a future academic compliance center.

Research revealed that the street adjacent to Franklin Field had been abandoned, and the grade outside the stadium had been raised 18 feet shortly after the building’s construction. To insert a modern facility into the 1925 building, the lower floor was excavated to the level of the original construction, recapturing an area of 20,000 square feet and allowing for the inclusion of the fitness center and café.

Existing archways were respectfully glazed, allowing street frontage for the café/retail space and giving exercisers views of the campus, the historic Palestra basketball arena and the Philadelphia skyline. A soaring lobby includes a gallery housing a significant collection of bronze sports artwork.

The new student-athlete training facility is located in the lower level of the stadium. The exterior grade at the entry lobby was lowered to bring in large amounts of natural light. Along the northern edge of the building, space was extended underneath the sidewalk and glazed bullet-glass paving was installed to bring in yet more natural light. Mirrored walls and recessed lighting were combined with the existing heavy masonry piers to create the illusion of a much larger space.

Project Details

Architect: Crawford Architects; Kansas City, Mo.
Construction Cost: $22.5 million
Square Feet: 55,000
Occupancy: April 2010

Cardiovascular Equipment: Life Fitness

Flooring, Fitness Center: Mondo

Free-Weight Equipment: Sorinex Exercise Equipment

Skylights: Circle Redmont

Strength Equipment: Life Fitness