A naval architecture college housed in a 1912 mansion on a historic campus on Long Island Sound needed to expand. Before this
addition, the students’ classrooms had been in the mansion along with their dorm rooms. The design task was to add 30,000 square
feet of teaching space without destroying the view of the mansion or overwhelming its prominence on the site.
The firm's concept was to create a “non-building” hidden under a grassy terrace facing the Sound, oering the students broad views to
the water, and passing vessels as a connection to their naval studies. The new construction topped by a planted roof preserved the
campus landscape while providing the students a lesson on environmental responsibility.
Inside, the building consists of state-of-the-art classrooms with space for both design and lecture classes and a joint space for all four
years of students to mingle. Four double-size classrooms embrace an exterior courtyard, which could serve as an additional teaching
space or accommodate special gatherings. Surrounding this courtyard are arcades that shield the classrooms from direct sunlight and
solar heat gain.
The hallway that connects the two sets of classrooms, which students pass through daily, leads them along a historic brick wall with
four ornamental niches that were part of the mansion's original garden terrace. A new tunnel, in the spirit of tunnels that already
existed under the campus, connects the new building underground to the historic mansion.
The lower oor of the addition houses a computer lab, a maker space, IT oces, and faculty oces. The existing academic space in the
mansion was converted to additional dormitory space for women, who were previously housed in other campus buildings. The goals
of providing expanded academic space and improving student housing were well accomplished, without harm to this exceptional
No project brief is available for this project.