Upgrading the Mechanical Systems in Louis Kahn’s Richards Building

by Matthew Chalifoux

April 21, 2016

Considerable functional shortcomings made this design icon the target of much venom for over fifty years. Our modernization brought the technical requirements of laboratories into alignment with Kahn’s plan and spatial design, while vastly improving building functionality and energy performance. In this article, the designer discusses strategies and tactics for invisibly modernizing an iconic but challenging structure.

Read the article.

Matthew Chalifoux

Matthew Chalifoux, FAIA

Historic Preservation & Design


Modernized interior of the Richards Labs

Richards Medical Research Laboratories

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Contemporary interventions guided by careful analysis of the original design unlock the potential of an outdated facility.