Press Releases September 26, 2023

Perkins&Will opens studio in Philadelphia, grows its Northeastern U.S. practice

The global architecture and design firm's new studio will enhance its client offerings in the sixth-most populated U.S. city and strengthen its regional presence.
The Philadelphia studio is led by Laura Morris (second from right), health practice leader and principal, and Robert Clemens (right), managing director.

Architecture and design firm Perkins&Will has opened a studio in Philadelphia. A strategic addition to the firm’s global network, the new studio will enhance Perkins&Will’s regional practice in the Northeastern U.S. and extend its integrated design services to clients in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, including western and central Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.

“We’re thrilled to officially launch our Philadelphia practice, joining many of the nation’s leading businesses, medical centers, and higher-education institutions,” says Bill Harris, regional managing director at Perkins&Will. “We already have deep ties to this incredible city, with substantive work already complete, and a slate of significant new projects underway. With the new studio, we can continue to build on our record of accomplishment in Philadelphia and formalize a relationship that has been decades in the making.”

Leadership of the Perkins&Will Philadelphia studio will include Harris; managing director Robert Clemens; and health practice leader Laura Morris. The local Philadelphia practices will closely collaborate with Northeast regional teams in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., and will leverage the firm’s global expertise to respond to the unique design challenges faced by clients in the greater Philadelphia area.

Established Expertise

Building on the firm’s established presence in the region, the studio is well-positioned to contribute to the city’s growth across several sectors, including commercial life sciences. Known as “Cellicon Valley,” Philadelphia has become a hub for cell and gene therapy in the U.S. This rapid expansion has created a demand for 3 million square feet of lab space in the city to accommodate an estimated 5,000 new jobs in the next five years.

Perkins&Will’s work in life sciences is backed by in-house planners and scientists, and decades of design experience—from ground-up construction to urban and suburban adaptive re-use projects and unique cGMP expertise. At 3801 Chestnut, Perkins&Will are working with clients Sterling Bay and Botanic Properties to create a 392,000 square foot research and development building, providing ultramodern labs with three floors of cGMP manufacturing facilities and a warehouse to University City and the broader life sciences community in Philadelphia.

Outside the commercial life sciences sector, the firm recently completed an office tower for the University of Pennsylvania Medical System (UPHS), the Einstein Medical Center Montgomery in East Norriton, and Springfield High School in Springfield, PA. A renovation of the athletics center at Saint Joseph’s University is currently in development and a campus plan for Delaware State University was completed last year.

Emerging Sectors

“A dedicated studio in Philadelphia is a natural next step for us. As a global architecture and design leader, we have already designed some remarkable projects in the city,” says Robert Clemens, managing director. “Our new studio will allow Perkins&Will, alongside our partners like the transportation consultants at Nelson\Nygaard, to better serve our existing clients in the region, while also embarking on ambitious new projects across the education, health services, transit, residential, civic, corporate, and commercial markets.”

Perkins&Will partner firm Nelson\Nygaard recently completed a redesign of the bus networks for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) with the aim to shorten and simplify routes, better integrate buses with subways and trolleys, and provide more frequent service, including on weekends, in high-demand areas. Through integrated urban planning, transit architecture, and civic and commercial design services, Perkins&Will and their partner firms can provide comprehensive solutions to large, complex projects across the city and region.

A Regional Hub

The Philadelphia studio is centrally located at 2000 Market Street within walking distance of Rittenhouse Square. It offers convenient access to commuter train stations serving the Northeast region. From here, a local team will serve clients in the Center City and beyond.

“I have lived in Philadelphia for the past 23 years and I’m so excited that Perkins&Will is now opening a studio here,” says Laura Morris, health practice leader. “It is a wonderful city that I am proud to call home, and it is poised for major growth. I cannot wait to see how our team, with the support of our Northeast regional colleagues, adds to our firm’s already strong reputation in the region.”