Located on the eastern edge of the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia, the center, which opens in 2013, creates needed laboratory space as well as a new public face for the university for visitors arriving from the city center. The 78,000-square-foot structure is sited around a new green space, drawing corollaries to the campus’s quads and to the city’s public squares. The bulk of the building lies on the northern edge of the site to minimize traffic vibrations that could affect experiments within, though the eastern wing stretches forward to the street. “The building ascends to the cantilevered forum at the urban edge of the site to express the innovative character of the research inside,” says Weiss/Manfredi principal Marion Weiss, FAIA. Interior spaces include a 10,000-square-foot clean room, a 6,500-square-foot characterization suite, and 12,000 square feet of laboratory modules, all organized around public spaces that are punctuated by informal gathering areas that “we hope will encourage exchange and discovery outside the limits of the lab,” Weiss says.