Penn’s Skirkanich Hall, A “Masterpiece of Materiality”

 

The decade-old building at 210 South 33rd Street is both audicious and unassuming, argues admiring architect Jeff Pastva. | Photo: Ashley Hahn, for Plan Philly

The decade-old building at 210 South 33rd Street is both audicious and unassuming, argues admiring architect Jeff Pastva. | Photo: Ashley Hahn, for Plan Philly

  • Plan Philly introduces a new series, Building Stories, in which the blog asks local architects “to take us to their favorite underappreciated or misunderstood buildings in Philadelphia, and explain what makes them great.” Jeff Pastva of JDavis Architects lauds Tod Williams’ and Billie Tsien’s design of Skirkanich Hall (2006) on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus as a “masterpiece of materiality,” employing large panes of glass to lighten and integrate the visual load created by the striking green glazed brick façade. “There are very few buildings, and very few architects, in the world who can pull off an iridescent green brick and have it be something that is spectacular yet blends in to the rest of this campus.
  • NewsWorks reminds us that Northwest Philadelphia’s Walnut Lane Bridge will close tomorrow so PennDOT can replace its concrete deck and sidewalks. The $14.7 million federally funded project will take about five months, during which time the estimated 16,810 vehicles that normally use the 109-year-old bridge to cross the Wissahickon will be detoured to Wissahickon, Midvale, and Henry Avenues.
  • The Philadelphia History Museum will host “Tavern Talks” tonight from 5:30 to 9, says Foobooz, featuring discussions from the Museum of the American Revolution’s Dr. Philip Mead, who will survey colonial tavern culture, and Kristen Froehlich, who will preview some of that upcoming museum’s collection. Intermittent tastings of food and drink will complete the experience.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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3 Comments


  1. While I admire Skirkanich Halla great deal to suggest that it is “spectacular yet blends in to the rest of this campus” is pushing it a bit I think…

  2. It does kind of stick out rather than blend in.

  3. on the inside this building has alot of public space that wasn’t well thought out, so it goes largely unused.

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