Harnwell's History

Harnwell College House is the second of the three residential skyscrapers built in Hamilton Village during 1971-1972. All three High Rises were designed by G. Holmes Perkins, Dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts from 1951-1971. Perkins is also noteworthy for having hired Louis I. Kahn, who propelled Penn to the top of the list of American Architecture Schools in the 1960s.

The erstwhile “High Rise East” inaugurated the College House system in 1998, as Harnwell College House and is now the home of 7 residential programs: Arts House, East Asia Program Community, the Latin American Residential Program, Biosciences, Ancient Studies, Eco House and the International Program.

Harnwell has a Resident Advisor, either undergraduate or graduate student, living on each of its floors, as well as a House Director, Faculty Director, and Faculty Fellows living in residence. The building is seasonally air-conditioned, and all rooms have private baths. Most have kitchens, as well, and there is a Harnwell dining area on the top floor of the Class of 1920 Commons, next door.

The focus of Harnwell’s residential programs is both international and cultural, giving the House a distinctive feel. Harnwell boasts a variety of performance and arts related facilities, and activities are frequently planned to bring artists and different cultural perspectives right to the residents here in the House.