Wharton School of Business main identification detail
Wharton School of Business exterior identification
Wharton School of Business donor wall
Wharton School of Business donor wall detail
Wharton School of Business donor recognition panel
Wharton School of Business donor recognition panel
Founded in 1881, The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the world’s premiere business education institutions. As the School’s need for a technologically sophisticated academic center arose, they selected Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to design the Jon M. Huntsman Hall, named for the Wharton alumnus, corporate leader, and philanthropist.

The 324,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building houses classrooms and group study rooms, all wired for multimedia, audio/video-conferencing, video production and editing, as well as internet access and connectivity between group workstations. Additionally, Huntsman Hall provides a 4,000-square-foot, 500-seat capacity forum, a top-floor colloquium for hosting research events, and a 300-seat auditorium.

A comprehensive environmental graphics and wayfinding sign program was designed that responded to the specific requirements of the new building. Since the $140 million project was financed entirely by philanthropic gifts, the designers were commissioned to develop an extensive donor recognition program. A series of intricate graphic patterns inspired by antique Wedgewood transferware and originally commissioned for the University was developed. The building’s main classrooms are dedicated to specific donors by etching the individual’s name into a glass panel sandblasted with one of 23 distinct patterns. The central component of the recognition program, in the building’s main entrance corridor, is a 40-foot wall composed of 306 glass panels. Each panel consists of 2 pieces of glass: the back pane is sandblasted with a ‘transferware’ pattern, and the front pane is etched with the donor’s name and infilled with white-gold leaf. This versatile double-panel system allows for the periodic addition of new donor names, while having a donor wall that appears cohesive and complete at all times.

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The Wharton School of Business

Environmental Graphics


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates


Douglas Morris

Publications and Recognitions

Educational Environments No. 4 (Visual Profile Books)
Novum World of Graphic Design (Germany)
Step Inside Design