Penn Selects SmithGroup as Architect for Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building

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Media Contact:Andrew Zitcer | | 215-573-6107
Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422February 5, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania has selected SmithGroup to design a new science facility that will integrate psychology, biology and behavioral sciences under one roof for teaching and research.

The Neural and Behavioral Sciences building will be linked to the recently completed Carolyn Lynch Laboratory, completing Penn’s Life Sciences precinct along University Avenue. When completed, the NBS building will be strategically located among the group of research buildings that includes the Louis Kahn-designed Goddard Laboratory, the historic Leidy Laboratory and Kaskey Park. In addition to housing both research laboratories and teaching facilities, the NBS Building will house interdisciplinary programs and student gathering spaces.

“The study of complex behaviors will be a fundamental focus of life sciences in the 21st century,” Rebecca Bushnell, dean of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, said, “and this building will ensure that Penn remains at the forefront of an area that has traditionally been one of its great strengths.”

SmithGroup’s project responsibilities include lab planning, architecture, historic preservation and engineering services and will be a collaboration of professionals from the firm’s Detroit and Washington, D.C., offices. The design team consists of experts in sustainable design, higher education, laboratory design, historic preservation and research design.

Once completed, the NBS building will present a new public façade to University Avenue, a vehicular thoroughfare between campus and the residential community to the west.

“This project will create a new gateway to the campus, and will stand as an important symbol of Penn’s commitment to teaching and research in the sciences,” Bushnell said. “The complex will enhance existing interactions and facilitate new ones to promote the integrated study of genes, the brain and behavior.”

The Neural and Behavioral Sciences building is one of several new projects being constructed or renovated under Penn Connects, the University’s 30-year campus development plan. Additional information is available at