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Huntsman Hall’s Chode-Like Appearance ‘Not Entirely Incidental,’ Admits Architect


Photo by Zachary Sheldon / The Daily Pennsylvanian

In a statement confirming every initial impression of Jon M. Huntsman Hall ever, A. Eugene Kohn, the architect behind Huntsman Hall, revealed that the building’s “chode-like appearance [was] not entirely incidental.”

Huntsman Hall was erected in 2002 as the most recent addition to the Wharton campus, featuring 48 classrooms, 57 group study rooms, lecture halls, auditoriums and conference rooms. It serves as the main building for the Wharton School of Business.

“Of course, there were a number of design considerations to be made — the materials, the structural stability, all that,” Kohn said.” One of those decisions was whether or not Huntsman Hall should emerge from Walnut Street like a stout penis penetrating the Philadelphia skyline, and, of course, the answer to that was yes.

“It is a shape that inspires confidence, strength, and power. I am certain that the external design of the building reflects accurately the people within. Wharton sows the seeds of tomorrow’s business leaders; their education had to look the part.

“As I reflected on my own Penn experience, the people I met, and the purpose this building would serve, I knew in my heart of hearts that the design needed to be round and squat, wider than it was tall, and capped by a differently colored domed head.

“Best yet, the shape and use of traditional materials not only integrates the look of Huntsman Hall with the rest of the University, but also allows saves on energy costs by faithfully retaining all the hot air emitted in the building.”