Atkin Olshin Schade Architects

Atkin Olshin Schade Architects

Philadelphia, PA


Richards Medical Research Laboratory Renovations

The University of Pennsylvania’s Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Laboratory is an important building by Louis I. Kahn, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. The site includes three original laboratory towers and a central service tower. Two additional towers, the Goddard Laboratories, complete the complex. Atkin Olshin Schade Architects recently completed a project for medical research space on six floors in the Richards building and one in Goddard. 

The design of Richards, while groundbreaking, never fully served the original laboratory program to its best advantage. The University has embarked on an ambitious restoration and renovation project for the buildings that includes replacing the exterior glazing and mechanical/electrical systems, and establishes design and preservation standards for interior renovations. Key to the success of this new program is the removal of wet labs from the buildings and replacing them with other medical research uses that require less plumbing and fewer air changes. The renovations have significantly reduced energy usage in the buildings. 

Part of our work involved tailoring research spaces for five unique users in Towers C and D; each with specific spatial needs and technology requirements. We adapted the spaces to meet the needs of individual user groups while following the preservation guidelines established by EYP. The original concrete truss construction is fully exposed and all new mechanical and electrical systems were carefully integrated to respect Kahn’s original design intent.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Philadelphia, PA, US
Additional Credits: Bruce E. Brooks & Associates, MEP Engineer
Keast & Hood Company, Structural Engineer