design thinkers
reinvesting in existing space
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Capital Preparatory Magnet School

Historic District Renovation & Addition

the backstory

Taking a fresh look at the layout can reveal alternative approaches that better accomplish the goals for the project. In the case of Capital Prep, where the study called for conversion of the existing auditorium into a cafeteria, and building a new library media space. SLAM showed how converting the auditorium into a library media center, using the existing gymnasium for the cafeteria and building a new gym to replace the old, provided better traffic flow on-site and placed the new construction in a location more conducive to construction activity on a tight site.

at-a-glance

TYPE:
Renovation and Addition
PRACTICE:
Architecture
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Pre-Construction Services
Programming & Planning
Structural Engineering
LOCATION:
Hartford, CT
STATUS:
Completed March 2010
SIZE:
108,613 GSF
INSIGHT

The three goals of the project were: Renovation of the school while respecting the urban site and context, as well as the style, material, and color palette of the original building; Preservation of enough site area for an athletic field in support of a comprehensive athletic program and the downtown north community; Completion of the project on an aggressive schedule (4 months design; 12 months construction).

SOLUTION

The exteriors of the existing building were completely restored to the original 1927 design, while incorporating new high performance double-hung windows and wood doors. The new gymnasium addition was designed to coordinate seamlessly with the style and character of the existing school building, in tune with the client’s vision. Special attention was paid to harmonizing the new addition’s façade with the color palette and subtle ornamentation of the original. All existing brick veneer was carefully cleaned and restored. The interior design preserved the elaborate ceiling of the existing auditorium, which was re-purposed as the school’s spacious new double-height library, while the original gymnasium was also re-purposed to serve as the new cafeteria.

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A new cafeteria was once the original gymnasium.

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The new spacious double-height library was once the auditorium. The elaborate ceiling was preserved during construction.

SLAM Converted Existing Areas into New Beautiful Spaces

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Designing for LEED Certification in an existing historic structure can present a variety of unforeseen challenges. At Capital Prep High School, our team took advantage of designing our mechanical systems to not interfere with the natural daylight that existing large windows provided to lower level classrooms.

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The new addition was located on the east end of the existing school to ensure enough space for a practice field and preservation of the surrounding landscape located around Keney Tower. The solution also provided a protected courtyard that separates Pleasant Street, a busy city street, from the outdoor recreation fields.   

IMPACT

The new building had such a profound impact on the Downtown North neighborhood and received the Hartford Preservation Alliance Award for rehabilitation and new construction. With the complexity of re-purposing existing spaces, our team was able to reduce energy consumption of the existing structure to help meet energy efficiency goals set for the project. 

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Capital Preparatory Magnet School was designed to LEED Silver specifications.

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SLAM was able to reduce energy consumption of the existing structure to help meet energy efficiency goals set for the project.

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 The impact in Hartford’s Downtown North neighborhood was so profound that the school received the Hartford Preservation Alliance Award for rehabilitation and new construction.

Team Contact

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Glen Gollenberg
Principal-In-Charge
P
860 368.2319

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