The University of Pennsylvania is planning to knock down its Penn Tower to make way for a new $1.5 billion hospital building that will house 700 patient beds, 50 operating rooms and other health-care services.
The 1.1 million-square-foot New Patient Pavilion will include 500 inpatient rooms, 50 operating rooms, and an emergency section, as well as a 650-space underground parking garage.
The commission voted to permit changes to the University of Pennsylvania master plan needed for construction of the building at 300 S. 33rd Street, which will serve as a patient-intake hub for surrounding medical facilities.
Plans include linking the new tower with Penn's existing hospital building complex and with the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
Construction will be done in multiple phases. It’s expected that the University of Pennsylvania Health System will begin razing Penn Tower this year to make way for construction of the new hospital.
The existing Penn Tower was originally built in 1975 as the Hilton Hotel of Philadelphia. The structure was later acquired by Penn and has housed a variety of offices and clinics for the Penn Health System.
Those operations and employees have or will be relocated to other sites in University City and in Center City in preparation of its eventual demolition.
L.F. Driscoll and Balfour Beatty Construction have been retained to oversee the building of the new Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania facility. Driscoll is a Philadelphia construction management firm owned by Structure Tone.
The architectural firm Foster + Partners will design the estimated $1.5 billion project. Foster + Partners, based in London, is a world-renowned firm that also designed the Comcast Center for Innovation and Technology. L.F. Driscoll is also the general contractor on that $1.2 billion project.
HDR Inc., one of the leading health care architects, is also on the team. The innovative firm has designed medical and health related facilities across the United States and around the world.
The health system is one of Philadelphia’s largest employers and is a huge economic engine for the region. The health system and medical school together form a $4.3 billion enterprise and the area’s most profitable medical center.