Skip to main content
Building Conservation Associates

University of Pennsylvania, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year Built: 1964
Original Architect: Martin, Stewart, Noble & Class

Designed by Martin, Stewart, Noble & Class and built in 1964, the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) is the University of Pennsylvania’s center for material research. The building is constructed of exposed aggregate cast stone with a glass curtain wall system. BCA was involved with a facade repair project for the building to address water infiltration issues and damage to the cast stone.

BCA was engaged to design the repairs to the exposed aggregate cast stone portions of the vertical walls and balcony parapets. BCA performed an initial site visit to observe conditions and determine required repairs. To develop an appropriate repair mix, BCA removed several samples of damaged cast stone from the site for aggregate matching. BCA also recommended execution of a petrographic analysis of the cast stone to identify any inherent issues in the material, and oversaw the removal of a core for that analysis. Based on the findings of the petrographic analysis and aggregate search, BCA developed specifications for the repair, cleaning, and selective replacement of the exposed aggregate cast stone units. BCA also assisted in the creation of the drawings and details for the project. Finally, BCA provided construction phase services to guide the creation of samples and mock-ups and to ensure quality control, consistency, and proper execution of repairs.