University of Pennsylvania



  • Project Overview
  • Project Details

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

June 1999

384,000 sq. ft.

Construction Management

Torcon was part of a tri-venture Construction Management team for the University of Pennsylvania’s $122 million Biomedical Research Building in Philadelphia.  The facility, which is actually comprised of BRB II and BRB III, is a 380,000 square foot research center focused primarily in the fields of biology of cancer, gene therapy and reproductive biology. The Biomedical Research Building II houses many of Pennsylvania’s top medical research institutes, such as the Abramson Family Cancer Institute and the Institute of Human Gene Therapy. 

University of Pennsylvania intends to use the new research center to retain and attract the best faculty, physicians and scientists.  The facility can house approximately 800 researchers and support staff and represents the largest building in the history of the University.

BRB2 is 15 stories high with ten lab levels, two mechanical floors and an expansive entry level with public areas.  In addition to offices, lounges and conference rooms on each floor, the common areas include a 150-seat auditorium, a cafe and a medical bookstore.  Below grade is a 32,000 sq.ft. lab support area served by an interstitial space. 

Each 22,750 sq.ft. lab floor is organized around a linear equipment room, which provides space for freestanding equipment.  This central spine also doubles as the lab corridor and utilities service space.

The Biomedical Research Building II is located at the heart of the School of Medicine complex in a highly congested, restrictive urban site.  The building was built within five feet of a two-story parking structure, with its upper floors cantilevered over the garage.  Enclosed pedestrian bridges and underground walkways link BRB-II to other buildings on campus.

Design was provided by the team of Perkins & Will; Francis, Cauffman, Foley, Hoffman; GPR Planners Collaborative and BR+A Engineers.  Construction of  the Biomedical Research Building II was completed ahead of schedule.