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A Brutalist building by a Bauhaus master is reborn as a net-zero hotel

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After sitting vacant for decades, a gem of Brutalist modern architecture in New Haven, Connecticut, is being given a second life. And it’s surprisingly energy efficient.

Built to house the Armstrong Rubber Company, and later tiremaker Pirelli, the former office building has been redesigned into a 165-room hotel by the architecture and development company Becker Becker. Unlike most adaptations of Brutalist concrete buildings – and very unlike most energy-sucking hotels – the new version of this historic building will produce net zero emissions, providing all of its own electricity, heat, and hot water.

Designed in 1967 by Marcel Breuer, the Bauhaus-trained furniture maker and modernist architect, the building is a statuesque nine-story tower of gridded concrete, with a chunk of its midsection removed to reveal just the concrete pillars that provide its structural support. Connecticut-based architect and developer Bruce Becker had been driving past the building for nearly 20 years, admiring Breuer’s sculptural use of concrete but was bewildered by the fact that such a famous piece of architecture was unused. “I was puzzled by that, and also challenged to come up with a solution,” Becker says.


© Fast Company

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