Burk-Bergman Boathouse, University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pa.
Construction Cost: $13.3 million
Area / Square Feet: 16,100
Occupancy Date: October 2022

Constructed in 1875, the Burk-Bergman Boathouse is one of the oldest boathouses in the country and anchors the center of a stretch of historically designated structures along the Schuylkill River known as Boathouse Row. Despite its historic significance, the facility was not able to keep pace with trends in the sport of rowing nor the maintenance needs of a heavily used older masonry-and-frame structure.

The design reconstructed 50 percent of the building, which was in a state of structural failure and disrepair, and created a contextually sensitive addition overbuilt within the footprint of the boathouse to provide more space for the needs of a modern collegiate rowing facility.

The design respects the historic exterior of the structure while completely renovating and modernizing the interior, including a soaring entrance lobby 

and grand hall featuring trophies and memorabilia; a lounge and meeting area with integrated audio/visual capabilities; entirely new locker rooms, showers, and toilets; a coaches’ suite; updated boat storage and a maintenance shop; and an expanded erg room and nutrition space that can support full team practices, yet also host special events.

The interior architecture uses a modern, minimalist expression that acts as a deferential counterpoint to the preserved historic features. With equal space for male and female student-athletes, as well as ADA access to the second-floor amenities, the new facility is a reflection of Penn’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and opportunity, as well as a showcase for the legacy and future aspirations of the rowing program.



Philadelphia, Pa.


Fitness Center - Flooring, Fitness Center
Urbba, Mannigton
Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Lighting
Restoration Hardware, Poulsen
Locker/Shower - Flooring
Garden State Tile
Locker/Shower - Lockers
Cardio EquipmentConcept2