Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology
Albert Večerka/Esto
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Resilient FlooringForbo Flooring Systems
Office FurnitureArper SPA
UpholsteryUnika Vaev
Exterior LightingBEGA
ManufacturersPEDRALI
Green RoofSempergreen®

Product Spec Sheet
Resilient Flooring
Office Furniture
Upholstery
Exterior Lighting
by BEGA
Manufacturers
by PEDRALI
Green Roof

Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology

WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism as Architects

The newly-opened Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology demonstrates the University of Pennsylvania’s leadership in the emerging field of nanotechnology. Nanoscale research is at the core of cutting-edge breakthroughs that transcend disciplinary boundaries of engineering, medicine, and the sciences. The new Center for Nanotechnology contains a rigorous collection of advanced labs, woven together by collaborative public spaces that enable interaction between different fields. The University’s first cross disciplinary building, the Singh Center encourages the exchange and integration of knowledge that characterizes the study of this emerging field and combines the resources of both engineering and the sciences.


Both the University and Philadelphia have a tradition of organizing buildings around open quads. While laboratory buildings are typically organized around a central corridor that affords little public space, the Center for Nanotechnology inverts this model, focusing the laboratories around a new central quad. This convergence of architecture and landscape at the heart of this project provides a new indoor/outdoor open space for interaction, allowing panoramic exterior views, opening the sciences to the University landscape, and making research activities highly visible. A public galleria is situated between the lab and exterior enclosure to function as an inhabitable lens. The separation of interior and exterior space becomes blurred through the use of frit patterns and mirrored effects in the glowing galleria.


The potential dialogue that is created by weaving vibrant public spaces for research and interaction with intensive lab spaces for hands-on production is at the core of the Singh Center’s design. The public galleria at the building’s entry is centralized around a monumental stair, highly visible to draw students through the double height space. The stair hosts flexible lounges to encourage work and collaboration to happen throughout the building. The spatial sequence spirals upwards around the galleria and unfurls around the courtyard to culminate with a multipurpose forum—a room contained within the building’s cantilever for lectures, receptions, and meetings, cantilevering sixty-eight feet over the courtyard below and offering a perch for taking in the view toward the historic core of Penn’s campus. Defined by a 1.7 acre central campus green at a new gateway to the campus, the Singh Center ascends as a spiral of research, reaching its highest elevation at the forum, opening to views of both the city and campus.

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