In the Feb. 24 Philadelphia Inquirer article, “Durability and style for a rec center,” author Nathaniel Popkin covers Philadelphia’s Pleasant Playground Recreation Center, for which BKP has designed a new facility slated to break ground later this year. Based on the firm’s 2001 design for Holmesburg Rec Center, the new building engages with the community through sustainable architecture. Calling the design “thoughtful” with “its contemporary footing in sustainable design” Popkin reinforces BKP Principal Joseph Powell’s design approach to “announce the rec center as a place of importance in the neighborhood.”
BKP’s design for the University of Pennsylvania’s High Bay BLAST Research Lab was the featured “Bricks & Mortar” project in PlanPhilly‘s Eyes on the Street blog. The post appeared on January 24. Eyes on the Street chronicles the challenges of making well-designed, 21st-century Philadelphia with articles on built and unbuilt projects. Click to read more about the High Bay Lab.
Construction is well under way on BKP’s design for the University of Pennsylvania’s High Bay BLAST Research Laboratory, the future home of the Department of Physics & Astronomy’s Ballon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope. The 1,200-square-foot laboratory will offer research, fabrication, and display space for the highly sensitive telescope, including a viewing window on Walnut Street, so that passers-by can view the scientists at work. Completion is scheduled for January 2012.
Construction progress has included the building’s steel framing, with its horizontal beam that extends outside the shell of the laboratory. The beam will allow the telescope to transition from the lab interior to the exterior. Also allowing the telescope to move in and out will be two 7.5-foot wide by 35-foot high motorized glass doors soon to be installed on the west elevation. Each door includes a smaller door in its upper half that scientists will be able to open for star sighting and calibration.
Exterior cladding is also going up. The Kingspan insulated metal panel system featured multi-faceted metal ribs that reflect light in much the same way as cut stone. The champagne bronze color will look gold, silver, or deep bronze depending upon the time of day, season, or side of the building. “We chose this dynamic material for its distinctive profile and the subtly dramatic effect it will offer the building’s different facades,” said BKP principal Darrell Kratzer.
The project team includes construction manager P. Agnes, Inc., structural engineer Keast & Hood Co., and mechanical-electrical-plumbing engineer AHA Consulting Engineers. The design and construction team have worked together to ensure half of the adjacent parking lot remains open and active throughout the project. Sitework will be finished ahead of schedule so that the parking area can be fully open as the interior is completed.
For additional information about the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, or Dr. Mark Devlin’s BLAST research, visit http://www.physics.upenn.edu/people/m.devlin.html.
BKP is pleased to announce that construction has begun on the University of Pennsylvania’s High Bay BLAST Research Laboratory. BLAST: The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope will help researchers understand the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. the laboratory design showcases the astronomers’ work and the highly-sensitive telescope. Construction is expected to take six months with a winter 2011 completion date. The project team include Keast & Hood Co. (structural engineering) and AHA Consulting Engineers (MEP engineering).