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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2015, 7:23 AM
ajaxean ajaxean is offline
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Originally Posted by GarCastle View Post
It sounds like we will stick with the design overall, it's just a matter of whether the back/train-side tower goes up with the core and front tower, or later. Even if the front tower is say 20 floors, we may only "build out" 15 floors if we come up with ungodly costs per floor.
This is another [probably unwelcome] comment from a perennial cynic, but the fact that Penn would even entertain this idea infuriates me. This piecemeal approach to architecture is exactly the reason why HUP and the Perelman Center are so disastrously disjointed and confusing. Instead of laying out a well-defined development plan and following it, administrators keep makes changes, adjustments, and incongruous additions. In the end, we get a Frankenstein-ian jumble which is a sorry excuse for a medical campus.

Trying to navigate HUP is a mess because it's just tiny buildings all crammed together without any grand plan. Then, when Penn Medicine had the opportunity to build a new major building, instead of learning from their mistakes with HUP, they just doubled down and made the exact same mistakes all over again. Instead of having an intelligent development plan for the Perelman Center, they just keep adding things onto it without rhyme or reason. It started with the Perelman Center, then they put the Smilow Tower on top of the Perelman Center, then they added the South Pavillion in the back, then they added the Jordan Center on top of the South Pavillion, and now they're adding the Cellular Therapeutics Center on top of the Jordan Center. Not only is it an eyesore, but it's also a confusing mess which is almost impossible to navigate for patients, and even Penn employees frequently find themselves on the wrong elevator.

If Penn tries to build its New Patient Pavilion in phases, I can almost guarantee that it's going to get mucked up by administrators and poor planning.
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2015, 10:34 AM
BenKatzPhillytoParis BenKatzPhillytoParis is offline
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Originally Posted by ajaxean View Post
This is another [probably unwelcome] comment from a perennial cynic, but the fact that Penn would even entertain this idea infuriates me. This piecemeal approach to architecture is exactly the reason why HUP and the Perelman Center are so disastrously disjointed and confusing. Instead of laying out a well-defined development plan and following it, administrators keep makes changes, adjustments, and incongruous additions. In the end, we get a Frankenstein-ian jumble which is a sorry excuse for a medical campus.

Trying to navigate HUP is a mess because it's just tiny buildings all crammed together without any grand plan. Then, when Penn Medicine had the opportunity to build a new major building, instead of learning from their mistakes with HUP, they just doubled down and made the exact same mistakes all over again. Instead of having an intelligent development plan for the Perelman Center, they just keep adding things onto it without rhyme or reason. It started with the Perelman Center, then they put the Smilow Tower on top of the Perelman Center, then they added the South Pavillion in the back, then they added the Jordan Center on top of the South Pavillion, and now they're adding the Cellular Therapeutics Center on top of the Jordan Center. Not only is it an eyesore, but it's also a confusing mess which is almost impossible to navigate for patients, and even Penn employees frequently find themselves on the wrong elevator.

If Penn tries to build its New Patient Pavilion in phases, I can almost guarantee that it's going to get mucked up by administrators and poor planning.
Just to play the devil's advocate, it may be difficult in this day and age to have a grand plan and stick with it since technology and economic conditions can change so quickly. They may be doing this in a seemingly ad hoc way on purpose so that once they build something, they know it's going to suit precisely the purpose for which it's built, instead of being part of some quickly obsolete grand plan.
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  #83  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2015, 6:48 PM
wally wally is offline
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You can't compare it to the collection of historic and newer buildings in the main complex. That's a completely different animal--it's mess that has resulted from decades of incremental expansion.

Pretty sure that PCAM was designed to be expanded quickly and fairly orderly, but they probably wanted to hedge their bet, should things like the economy go south. It was never supposed to be a one-off $1+ billion masterpiece. The first project was the base, on which future towers (e.g., Smillow and the South Pavilion) were to be built. There's not a lot of room around health complex for horizontal expansion, so instead they went with vertical expansion.

Of course, this isn't to say that the resulting Frankenstein's monster of buildings and pavilions is the best that they could have done or should win any great design awards, but there's more going on there than meets the eye.
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  #84  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2015, 11:57 PM
GarCastle GarCastle is offline
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Perelman was originally designed to be built in four phases. The initial horseshoe center and then 3 towers afterwards. They have actually followed that at least in concept. I agree the execution is industrial looking and that's emphasized by the much stronger designs CHOP puts directly next to it.

Part of the difference is that CHOP bleeds money. "It's for the kids after all." They spent millions putting a glass facade on the main building which added (apparently) no square footage. Take Penn Medicine, when it makes money (and it makes more than CHOP typically - $3xx million vs. $2xx million last year I think I read), the Penn mothership can take that profit or a big chunk of it. I have no idea what their cut is, but it does inhibit free spending from what I have heard.

No idea if that explains the industrial look, but I'll find out from being part of the project. Should be interesting LOL.

Cheers,
G.
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  #85  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2015, 7:06 PM
Flyers2001 Flyers2001 is offline
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You can't compare it to the collection of historic and newer buildings in the main complex. That's a completely different animal--it's mess that has resulted from decades of incremental expansion.

Pretty sure that PCAM was designed to be expanded quickly and fairly orderly, but they probably wanted to hedge their bet, should things like the economy go south. It was never supposed to be a one-off $1+ billion masterpiece. The first project was the base, on which future towers (e.g., Smillow and the South Pavilion) were to be built. There's not a lot of room around health complex for horizontal expansion, so instead they went with vertical expansion.

Of course, this isn't to say that the resulting Frankenstein's monster of buildings and pavilions is the best that they could have done or should win any great design awards, but there's more going on there than meets the eye.
Its a fact that the design of Perelman is terrible. They may of had a "plan" but they failed miserably. Let's start with the fact that they schedule to many appointments for the garage and valet to handle. They have no place to put ambulance and paratransit vehicles so they throw them in with the 700+ valet vehicles. They have a cross walk in the middle of the valet driveway, Quite frankly its a miracle no one has been hit. Then when you enter the building, good luck waiting for an elevator. In fact they moved the valet cashier in hopes of having more people use the escalators that malfunction daily. I'm going to stop my rant....


The building itself may be called Perelman aka PCAM but its not all Penn Medicine. Smilow is part of Penn the university as well as JMEC. Its all confusing.
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  #86  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2015, 7:07 PM
Flyers2001 Flyers2001 is offline
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Sounds like completion is targeted late 2019 so patient move-in can start in 2020. It's going to get a pretty massive foundation with several sub-grade levels. I'd imagine parking as well, but I haven't seen the prints yet (should be soon).

Cheers,
G.
4 Levels of below grade parking. Supposedly 1500 spots, equivalent to what Buerger Center has.
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  #87  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2015, 7:38 PM
christof christof is offline
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Its a fact that the design of Perelman is terrible. They may of had a "plan" but they failed miserably. Let's start with the fact that they schedule to many appointments for the garage and valet to handle. They have no place to put ambulance and paratransit vehicles so they throw them in with the 700+ valet vehicles. They have a cross walk in the middle of the valet driveway, Quite frankly its a miracle no one has been hit. Then when you enter the building, good luck waiting for an elevator. In fact they moved the valet cashier in hopes of having more people use the escalators that malfunction daily. I'm going to stop my rant....


The building itself may be called Perelman aka PCAM but its not all Penn Medicine. Smilow is part of Penn the university as well as JMEC. Its all confusing.

So your whole complaint about the building involves parking and slow elevators?
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  #88  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2015, 10:07 AM
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Human Scale Human Scale is offline
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So your whole complaint about the building involves parking and slow elevators?
I actually have always gotten lucky with parking. I make my appointments around 2pm to avoid traffic. Don't know if that's a good time for the garage?

The elevators, however, are indeed so bad, you could proclaim as much from the top of the Art Museum steps, interrupting a choreographed chorus line of dancers performing the finale to the Thanksgiving Day Parade so that your message would be heard loud and clear over a live television broadcast, and it would not be considered overkill.


Update: might I add that the building was indeed poorly designed. It was not designed for the user. And I'm not just talking about patients, I include personnel as users in this example too. Although, they benefit from becoming conditioned to it. The building wasn't even designed around the disciplines/departments that inhabit it. Some operations are split, under-suited, over-suited, or just plain lacking of any reference to the hospital as a whole. I believe the building was designed based on aesthetics (which are not that great, just a modern cube within a cube) and the idea that Penn got in their heads that big building projects should be evolutionary, or built in bits as needed. This is probably so their capital budget looks more even when spread out over the years? How quickly they needed to begin the addition on Perelman should have told them this wasn't necessarily a good idea and they should just build the Patient Pavilion in one go.

Last edited by Human Scale; Nov 26, 2015 at 10:26 AM.
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  #89  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2015, 4:20 PM
Flyers2001 Flyers2001 is offline
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So your whole complaint about the building involves parking and slow elevators?
Thats just the start... Have you ever been inside?
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  #90  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2015, 4:24 PM
Flyers2001 Flyers2001 is offline
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I actually have always gotten lucky with parking. I make my appointments around 2pm to avoid traffic. Don't know if that's a good time for the garage?

The elevators, however, are indeed so bad, you could proclaim as much from the top of the Art Museum steps, interrupting a choreographed chorus line of dancers performing the finale to the Thanksgiving Day Parade so that your message would be heard loud and clear over a live television broadcast, and it would not be considered overkill.


Update: might I add that the building was indeed poorly designed. It was not designed for the user. And I'm not just talking about patients, I include personnel as users in this example too. Although, they benefit from becoming conditioned to it. The building wasn't even designed around the disciplines/departments that inhabit it. Some operations are split, under-suited, over-suited, or just plain lacking of any reference to the hospital as a whole. I believe the building was designed based on aesthetics (which are not that great, just a modern cube within a cube) and the idea that Penn got in their heads that big building projects should be evolutionary, or built in bits as needed. This is probably so their capital budget looks more even when spread out over the years? How quickly they needed to begin the addition on Perelman should have told them this wasn't necessarily a good idea and they should just build the Patient Pavilion in one go.
Very well said. 2pm is an ideal time. Beats the 9-11am hour where there are usually 500+ appointments per hour.

To try an explain what the building is like without actually being inside in various departments is difficult. The work they do inside is great. Some of the best Doctors and staff in the world, but they are stuck working in a flawed building.

Although, the Smilow floors are designed much better as is JMEC.
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  #91  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2015, 6:54 PM
ajaxean ajaxean is offline
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It's encouraging to know that other people have experienced the same frustrations with Penn Med's campus as I have. The crux of my complaint isn't about architectural aesthetics (although that does matter to me too), it's really about planning a campus that works for its users and works for the city. I think the design for the New Patient Pavilion had the opportunity to solve a lot of the problems with the current state of the medical campus, but it seems to fall way short.

For example, a few days ago it rained modestly all day. Although this should have been a trivial occurrence, it caused complete pandemonium outside the Perelman Center for hours because it has such an insanely inadequate car circle despite the fact that it is an ambulatory medicine building (a building where you expect people to arrive by car and have a lot of drop-off/pick-up activity). The Perelman Center's bad planning literally stalled traffic all the way down to the 76 ramp on the South Street bridge. And here's why I really condemn Penn for this. HUP also has an insanely inadequate car circle that backs up traffic almost daily, and STILL Penn made the EXACT SAME mistake with the Perelman Center, exacerbating an already bad problem. Flyer2001 also mentions that the Perelman Center stupidly has no place to put "ambulance and paratransit vehicles so they throw them in with the 700+ valet vehicles." Again, this is unforgivable since HUP is also terrible for having no dedicated paratransit space. They load and off-load patients completely exposed to the elements on the side of Spruce street. It's awful. There are cars and bicyclists whizzing by literally withing 3 or 4 feet of stretcher bound patients. Now, with the New Patient Pavilion, I don't see anything in the renderings which indicates that planners really thought about how the site should function with pedestrians, car traffic, and patients.

Compare this to better planned medical campuses like CHOP. CHOP has its main outpatient buildings centered around a huge car circle ("Osler Circle") that literally overlays underground parking. Its new ambulatory building, the Buerger Center, has its own independent large car circle and underground parking. And, when CHOP decided to build a new non-clinical research and support services building, they smartly decided that they could put it across the river. It's a logical and coherent campus development plan that works and uses space appropriately (in addition to creating architecture the city can appreciate).

In contrast, Penn administrators almost seem to do things on whims. Wally commented above "Pretty sure that PCAM was designed to be expanded quickly and fairly orderly." It's true that PCAM was designed to be expandable, but the health system obviously had no real plan, because instead of additional healthcare space (which was almost certainly the initial intention), they got a huge animal vivarium, a research tower, and medical school stacked on top of them. Why the hell are the medical school, a research tower, and an animal vivarium on top of an ambulatory medicine center? It's a cute to pretend that this "integrates" care, research, and education, but this is a dumb gimmick that makes no meaningful sense. The researchers in Smilow have no clinical duties and the medical students using JMEC are predominantly in their pre-clinical years and aren't seeing patients. It's the most horrific implementation of mixed use (usually a good idea) that I've ever seen. Penn gave themselves the capabilities to expand, but had no rational plan. As a result, we have a confusing jumble of a building (Perelman), across from another messed up jumble of a building (HUP), and I'm suspicious that if they try to build the "New Patient Pavilion" in stages, that the idiots in the administration will jumble up that building too. I'm not saying that you can't build in stages and still maintain flexibility and coherency. You absolutely can. But Penn keeps screwing up and worse, keeps spending hundreds of millions of dollars repeating the same mistakes its made in the past.

Last edited by ajaxean; Dec 4, 2015 at 9:34 PM.
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  #92  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2015, 9:53 PM
ajaxean ajaxean is offline
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Also, to anyone else who works at Penn, if you want more evidence of Penn Med's haphazard planning, check out what I lovingly call "The World's Loudest Serenity Garden" on the terrace of JMEC 5. The Abramson Cancer Center Serenity Garden is smartly located beneath a 24/7 loud HVAC exhaust module, directly across from CHOP and HUP's frequently active helipads.
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  #93  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2015, 3:34 AM
GarCastle GarCastle is offline
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Also, to anyone else who works at Penn, if you want more evidence of Penn Med's haphazard planning, check out what I lovingly call "The World's Loudest Serenity Garden" on the terrace of JMEC 5. The Abramson Cancer Center Serenity Garden is smartly located beneath a 24/7 loud HVAC exhaust module, directly across from CHOP and HUP's frequently active helipads.
LOL, that helipad is going to get a lot closer when the new patient tower is built. It will be sitting on the top of the back end, almost overhead of the JMEC.

Cheers,
G.
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  #94  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2016, 2:19 PM
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2016, 1:32 AM
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2016, 2:43 AM
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^bye felicia
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2016, 3:19 AM
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2/17/16

Current Penn Tower demolition continues



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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2016, 3:57 PM
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Right above where it says "Tower" up top had some of the greatest views of the city. Did a nice little stint working for Penn Medicine, met some good people.
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  #99  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2016, 11:45 PM
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Penn tower demo, from 2 days ago:

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  #100  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2016, 12:31 AM
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Photo by Fran Rothwein via Building Philly:

source
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