BKP’s design for renovated dining amenities at the University of Pennsylvania’s 1920 Commons opened to students on Wednesday, 5 September. The $6 million renovation included stations for make-your-own dining options, a pizza grill, grocery venues, and seating areas. The design brings a refreshed atmosphere, light, and energy to the below-ground spaces. “The renovations make the place appear bigger and inviting,” UPENN sophomore Melissa Kantrowitz told the Daily Pennsylvanian.
On the evening of 25 June 2012, a design team from BKP participated in the 8th Annual Chefs’ Dinner for PAWS, Philadelphia’s largest animal-rescue organization. Held at the Union League, the dinner paired chefs from 40 of the country’s top restaurants with design teams representing architecture, interior decorating, and event planning firms. Each chef presented an intimate and unique multi-course dinner at a customized dining pod envisioned by the designers.
BKP’s Darrell Kratzer, Emmanuel Gee, Caitlin Daly, and Meredith Davis teamed with Bravo Top Chef Finalist and restauranteur Mike Isabella of Graffiato in Washington, DC, to capture the restaurant’s urban chic aesthetic in a sophisticated dining pod. Components of the design included metal-stud framing with integrated wooden wine boxes full of natural herbs and poured-concrete tabletops with embedded herb plantings.
The sold-out culinary-design event raised over $300,000 to benefit PAWS, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. PAWS is Philadelphia’s largest rescue organization and only no-kill shelter, and is working to make the city a place in which every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Through its adoption locations, special events, and foster care network, PAWS finds loving homes for thousands of animals each year. For more information, visit www.phillypaws.org
BKP’s design for the Bern Schwartz Gymnasium Transformation at Bryn Mawr College has been awarded a Gold Citation in the 2012 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase, the top tier of awards given in the prestigious school design competition. This year’s judges selected 72 projects, including 12 citations to be featured in the August 2012 issue of American School & University magazine. The gymnasium transformation was part of Bryn Mawr College’s Smart Women, Strong Women campaign. Click here to read more about the project.
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.