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News > Context Spring 2024 > Design Profile: Burk-Bergman Boathouse

Design Profile: Burk-Bergman Boathouse

EwingCole
Photo: Halkin/Mason Photography 
Photo: Halkin/Mason Photography 

Located along a scenic stretch of the Schuylkill River, Boathouse Row is one of Philadelphia’s most cherished landmarks. It includes the Burk-Bergman Boathouse, home to the University of Pennsylvania’s three varsity rowing programs. Constructed in 1875, this is one of the oldest boathouses in the country. In recent years, the facility has not been able to keep pace with the program’s demands and needed a comprehensive renovation to help Penn Rowing meet its full potential. The design reconstructs and overbuilds an addition to the boathouse pavilion and addresses many operational deficits while revitalizing this iconic landmark. The project respects the historic exterior of the structure while completely renovating and modernizing the interior. Reconfigured program spaces include a soaring entrance lobby and grand hall featuring trophies and memorabilia, a lounge and meeting area with integrated A/V, a historic vaulted ceiling, and a restored balcony overlooking the river. Expanded to accommodate larger workouts and host special events, the new ERG room boasts a panoramic view of the river, with skylights providing ambient daylight and an exposed structural system that is a modern interpretation of the building’s historic king post trusses. Improved boat storage and maintenance, and modernized locker rooms, coaches’ rooms, and additional support space create a true home for Penn Rowing. Equal space for men and women athletes and a new elevator providing ADA access to the second floor make the building a reflection of Penn’s values, and its mission of inclusion and opportunity.  

Project: Burk-Bergman Boathouse 

Location: Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA    

Client: University of Pennsylvania   

Project Size: 16,100 sq ft 

Project Team:  

EwingCole (Architect)  

SBK + Partners, LLC (Collaborating Firm)  

Pennoni (Civil Engineer)  

Keast & Hood  (Structural Engineer)  

Target Building Construction (General Contractor) 

Photos: Halkin/Mason Photography 

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