University Meeting and Guest House

PennConnects Logo

The Meeting and Guest House at the University of Pennsylvania will welcome important guests to campus, provide a place for strategic meetings and trustee gatherings, include touch-down space for visiting dignitaries, and host special events.

Planning Strategy

The building is being repurposed as a residential guest space with touchdown office space adjacent to the President's House. The office and suites will serve University dignitaries during short-term stays.


The project transforms a pair of late Victorian townhouses into a 21st-century precinct – a new ensemble to receive visitors to campus. The historic Walnut street façade of the buildings is preserved. The primary entrance to the Meeting and Guest House is reoriented to the south side of the building facing Locust Walk in a new at-grade, fully accessible addition off a shared motor court. To the east of the buildings, a former parking lot is transformed into a landscaped bluestone terrace for outdoor and tented events. The rear and east side of the building feature a new terracotta façade in a tripartite arrangement that reflects the massing of the original building. The material relates to but reinterprets the roman brick of the original building. Transparent and “veiled” glazing creates a varied day-to-night expression for the building and allows it to glow like a beacon. The project has earned LEED Gold certification.

University Meeting and Guest House

University Meeting and Guest House

Building Code: 420
Gross Area (sq. ft.): 17155
Phase: Completed
Year Built: 1898
Floors: 4
Architect: W. Frisbey Smith
Addition Year: Deborah Berke Partners
Area Manager
Zubka, Gavin
Building Manager
Wahl, John