On May 1, 2018, Docomomo US announced 13 winners of the Modernism in America Awards. Hill College House at the University of Pennsylvania, originally designed by Eero Saarinen and Dan Kiley, was awarded the Civic/Institutional Design Award of Excellence. INTECH Construction was the General Contractor for the renovation project.

The competition recognized outstanding restoration projects that demonstrate high levels of design expertise and commitment to historic preservation. Winners were also acknowledged for their grassroots efforts and public and private partnerships.


About the Hill College House Renovation Project

Original Architect: Eero Saarinen and Dan Kiley (landscapes)

Restoration Team: Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC (Architecture), INTECH Construction, Inc. (Construction Management), AHA (MEP/FP Engineering), Becker & Frondorf (Estimating), Edwards & Company (Envelope Consulting), Floss Barber Inc. (Interior Design), Keast & Hood (Structural Engineering), Keystone Preservation Group (Materials Conservation), The Lighting Practice (Lighting Design), Metropolitan Acoustics (A/V and Acoustic Design), OLIN (Landscape Design), Pennoni (Civil Engineering), Ricca Design Studios (Food Service Consulting), Shen Milsom Wilke (Security), Zipf Associates (Elevator Consulting)

Client: University of Pennsylvania

The Civic/Institutional Design Award of Excellence is given for the restoration of the Hill College House. Located on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, the building was designed by Eero Saarinen with landscapes by Dan Kiley in 1960. Saarinen grounded his design for the five-story, 195,000-square-foot brick residence in the idea of a self-sufficient village; it was the first purpose-built women’s dormitory at Penn. No major renovation had been performed at Hill College House since it was built, and although the architecture continued to foster a strong sense of community, dated systems and finishes needed updating. Penn wanted to bring the residence up to 21st century standards while retaining its unique features, and the design team’s collaborative approach involved conservation, laboratory materials analyses, and archival research to understand Saarinen’s original details and appropriate contemporary replacements or complements. After undergoing a 15-month, LEED Gold certified comprehensive renovation, the landmark reopened to 500 student residents in August 2017.

Jury Notes:

“This project highlights the commitment to restore a beautiful but overlooked campus structure and honors the lasting values found in modern architecture. The work accomplished by the design team not only respects the original vision, but also addresses the needs of students today, improving functionality and gaining a LEED certification – Saarinen for the 21st century.”


Click below to learn more about the awards and other winners!


Photo Credit: Aislinn Weidele