Hartford, CT – Amenta Emma architects and designers wrapped up 2020 with award recognition in several studio types.
In September, Amenta Emma was awarded the IIDA New England Award for Best Senior Living for the design of the Southington Care Center second floor nurses’ station, garden room and outdoor patio. For this project, the senior living design team was tasked with reimagining the institutional feel of the center which is home to 65 residents living with varied stages of dementia.
The Amenta Emma K-12 team received a CREW CT Best in Class: Academic Award for the transformation of Weaver High School in Hartford, Conn., which was announced at the virtual Blue Ribbon Awards presentation held on Oct. 1. As part of a team with the SLAM Collaborative, the renovations to the 1960’s building include a new transparent facade which brings much needed light into the building, and collaborative multi-use spaces that give greater access to resources, programming and extra-curriculars to the surrounding community. The building meets Connecticut High Performance Building Standards (LEED Gold equivalent).
Amenta Emma was also honored with three Merit Awards in the AIA Connecticut Design Awards which were presented at the AIA CT Awards Gala in November. The New Haven offices for quasi-public venture capital firm Connecticut Innovations was recognized in the Interior Architecture category. The Connecticut State Office Building at 165 Capitol Avenue in Hartford was recognized in the Built category.
Finally, Amenta Emma’s design for renovating and expanding Lafayette Hall at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Conn. also received a Merit award in the Built category. Amenta Emma’s Higher Education team’s design of the 48,000sf addition to the main campus building adds critical program areas and radically changes the college’s relationship to its urban context.
On the Southington Care Center second floor nurses’ station, jurors noted the “beautiful details including the integrated handrail with lighting, and the shaded garden courtyard. This is a clever project to re-think a reception area that is a central hub for residents.”
For the Connecticut Innovations office project, Amenta Emma’s workplace studio adapted a 1950s-era bus station into a 9,000-square-foot headquarters, encompassing offices, meeting rooms, collaborative areas and open work areas. Exposed structure, HVAC, brickwork, metal panel ornamentation, and concrete floor staining are contextual with original architecture and provide an edgy industrial aesthetic. Jurors commented, “This design team has created a vibrant and attractive work environment.”
On the Connecticut State Office Building at 165 Capitol Avenue project, jurors commented, “Good reuse and renovation of major building – uplifting government service, and a thoughtfully executed renovation.” Not only is the building now a beautiful contemporary workplace with a stunning double-height lobby featuring canted marble walls, the design respects the historic fabric of the 1930s-era building while making it a model of 21st century sustainability goals.
“The massing of the building contributes to the campus making a destination, a place, from a former shopping mall,” a juror commented on the Lafayette Hall at Housatonic Community College project.