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William H. Hall High School
West Hartford, Conn.
Herbert S. Newman and Partners

Windows Brighten the Mood in this Update of a Brutalist High School

By Elizabeth Harrison Kubany

© Woodruff/Brown Photography

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

To see the people and products behind this project click on 'people & products.'

When West Hartford, Conn.’s Department of Community Services hired Herbert S. Newman and Partners to renovate Hall High, it asked the architects to change the dark and brooding building into a different kind of place. With enrollment projected to grow from 1,200 to 1,500 students and changes in curriculum planned, the existing 250,000-square-foot building needed to expand as well.

The architects located the project’s 20,000-square-foot, three-story addition on the northeastern corner of the existing building, where it would front the main access road to the school. Although not at the school’s main entrance, the addition has a high public profile. With its curved form and looming stair tower, the addition acts as a foil to the horizontal mass of the old building. In contrast to the almost windowless existing building, glazing is generous on the addition’s northern elevation and, to a lesser extent, on its eastern facade. The architects designed the bright, airy spaces here as art studios, general classrooms, and science laboratories.

See the February 2001 issue of Architectural Record for full coverage of this project.

Formal name of building:
William H. Hall High School addition and renovation

Location:
West Hartford, Conn.

Gross square footage:
20,000 square feet (new); 250,000 square feet (renovated); 1,500 students

Owner:
Department of Community Services, Town of West Hartford

Architect's firm:
Herbert S. Newman and Partners
300 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
phone: 203.772.1990
fax: 203.772.1997
www.hsnparch.com

 

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