2020 Moffley Media A-List Award
Commercial Space Winner
The site is a city block in downtown New Haven that had been utilized as an on-grade parking lot. The program was to relocate the parking component into an above-grade parking structure and develop 400 residential units on the property. The first phase of the project is complete and consists of 169 apartments, parking for 700 cars and a new restaurant on the most prominent street corner.
As the architects, the challenge was about community building and place making. A focus on the lifestyles of the target demographic of Yale graduate students and Yale New Haven Hospital staff guided the design. The sharing of a luxurious array of amenities, along with active programming by the building management team, support the community-building effort. Active programming of resident activities fosters relationship-building within the community. Communal co-working spaces and living areas encourage parties and build friendships. The indoor and outdoor public spaces have been embraced and fully utilized by the residents since the doors opened. The central question for the architect was how to make this a great place to live. The shift towards working from home is accommodated in "zoom rooms" that provide quiet, private spaces outside of the apartments for virtual meetings. The second phase of the project will feature bike rooms, music performance rooms, grow rooms, and art studio and a fully equipped chef's kitchen and dining room for residents to have dinner parties.
Architecturally the public areas celebrate the warmth and texture of the raw concrete structure, and layer over that a palette of concrete block and hot rolled steel as a backdrop for comfortable furnishings. The result is fresh and sophisticated and had been very well received by the residents who feel that they live in a special place.
The precast parking garage is wrapped by active uses to be totally concealed. The historic arts-oriented character of Audubon Street is reflected in the the new streetscape that references the brick townhomes in the neighborhood. El Segundo Restaurant was designed to have the look, feel and function of a neighborhood food joint that serves the resident community and introduces this location to the broader dining community.
Urbanistically, this infill project extends the fabric of the downtown to connect to the State Street Railroad Station, as well as the Amtrak hub of New Haven's Union Station.
Client: Spinnaker Real Estate Partners