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Penn’s Perry World House Looks Out of this World

The $17.8 million project mixes old and new in a refreshing way

With school out for the summer, the University of Pennsylvania's campus is pretty quiet. So it came as a surprise the other day when a random walk by revealed a nearly finished Perry World House, plus signs of folks moving in.

The Perry World House at 3803 Locust Street is an interesting project in that the university worked to preserve a 163-year-old Gothic Revival house designed by architect Samuel Sloane and incorporate it into the new design.

Designed by New York firm 1100 Architect, the result is a $17.8 million limestone building that mimics the Gothic Revival style of the original structure.

The 17,393-square-foot building will serve as the university’s "hub for international exchange and activity," according to Penn's website. One of the main features is a glass-enclosed courtyard called the World Forum, which can seat 150 people. The building also features a classroom, a conference room, and 14 offices.

Local firm Studio Bryan Hanes designed the landscape adjacent to the building. What caught our eye is the long, serpentine wood bench. The goal was to create an outdoor communal area that also served as an intimate setting, according to the firm’s website.

Overall, it's a refreshing addition to the architecture of Penn's campus—and one that will be noticed by many thanks to its prominent location. It sits right along 38th Street and just at the foot of the Locust Walk pedestrian bridge.

The Perry World House is scheduled to officially open in September 2016.