Connecticut Innovations, New Haven, Conn.
ARCHITECT: Amenta Emma Architects
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Urbane New Haven LLC
MEP ENGINEER: RZ Design Associates
ACOUSTICAL ENGINEER: Cavanaugh Tocci
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Thornton Tomasetti
GLAZING SUBCONTRACTOR: Eastern Glass Co.
POLISHED CONCRETE SUBCONTRACTOR: Elegant Concrete Polishing
Designers maximized existing features, which included high ceilings, skylights and a long southern-facing glazed wall, bathing the interior in light. Use of glass throughout the headquarters and along a central corridor, or “main street”, defines program spaces and allows glimpses of activity. A particular highlight is a large conference room adjacent to the café-lounge. The boardroom’s large sliding glass wall opens to unite the spaces to allow for larger meetings or events.
The following is a selection of materials used in the project:
DECORATIVE METAL PANELS: Deco by Moz Designs
ENTRY AREA RUG: Embrace by Shaw Contract
OFFICE/CONFERENCE ROOM CARPET: Geoknit by Tarkett
KITCHEN BACKSPLASH PANEL: Struttura by 3form
KITCHEN COUNTERTOP: Raven Quartz by Caesarstone
LIGHT FIXTURE: BuzziShade Pendant by BuzziSpace
CONFERENCE ROOM SLIDING GLASS PARTITION: cero II by NanaWall Systems Inc.
Connecticut Innovations enables technology start-ups—including life sciences companies engaged in COVID-19 research—to launch and grow. The 9,000-square-foot headquarters inside a 1950s bus station utilizes glass and roofed “boxes” within a larger envelope to create an open, light-filled environment with spaces for events, small-team collaborations and distancing.
Although the project was designed pre-COVID-19, small offices line the perimeter of the interior, creating a high-ceiling, open environment along with private workspaces. Interior furnishings complement Connecticut Innovations’ brand colors of blue and orange. Countertops and table surfaces are light, bright and easy to clean.
“We’d thought about not having any private offices, but I’m so glad that we did include some. It’s great to be able to close your door, take off your mask and feel safe. When you mask-up and walk out of your office, the high ceilings and open space are reassuring, as well. With the tight corridors at our old office, we’d probably still be fully remote if we were based there,” says Lauren Carmody, vice president of Marketing and Communications for Connecticut Innovations. “Instead, Amenta Emma consulted with us to help develop our return-to-the-office strategy, create traffic-flow indicators and use all of our office spaces in the safest, most effective way possible.”
One challenge of repurposing an old bus station included devising ways to incorporate electrical conduits and drains because the ground slab, which had been encapsulated because of environmental concerns, could not be penetrated. Careful planning was needed to minimize disturbance of the floor slab while grouping exposed piping in a visually pleasing manner. Polishing the existing concrete floor, in addition to utilizing existing exposed structure in the ceiling, contributed to sustainability of the project.
PHOTO: Robert Benson