Left to right, top to bottom; Ingalls Ice Rink, Beinecke Library, Beinecke Library in its courtyard; the Center for British Art, Yale’s network of courtyards, Kroon Hall; Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park, First Presbyterian Church of New Haven, former trolley garage.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, our office has put together a list of buildings that we love in our back yard of New Haven.
Ingalls Ice Rink – Eero Saarinen (1958): Afffectionately known as the Whale, Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink was recently named the rink with the “Best Design” across all of America by the New York Times.
Why do we love it? The very sculptural form that is expressed both in the interior and the exterior is actually an expression of the structural system – a concrete ‘spine’ and tensile structure holding a wooden armature.
Beinecke Library – Gordon Bunshaft (1963): The Beinecke rare Book and Manuscript Library contains the principal rare books and literary manuscripts of Yale University and serves as a center for research by students, faculty, and scholars from around the world.
Why do we love it? Sunlight filtered through thin Vermont marble windows casts the collection of rare books and manuscripts in a soft glow. The very rigid cube is a welcome addition to the neo-classical buildings that surround it.
Yale’s Center for British Art – Louis Kahn (1974): The Center houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Opened to the public in 1977, the Yale Center for British Art is the last building designed by the internationally acclaimed American architect Louis I. Kahn.
Why do we love it? It is free, it is close by, it is a jewel of regular geometry in concrete and wood panels.
Yale Courtyards – Numerous architects (1753-present): The Yale campus has been shaped over generations. Some of the most beautiful spaces are actually the exterior ones – the courtyards between the buildings.
Why do we love them? They are beautiful places to walk through, to read a book in, to sit in and admire the architecture.
Kroon Hall – Hopkins Architects (2009): Kroon Hall is home to the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University. It was designed with state of the art green building technology, garnering a LEED platinum certification.
Why do we love it? It is not actually open to the public, though one can wander in. The study room is an inspirational place to study. The exterior courtyard is a great place to have lunch.
First Presbyterian Church of New Haven – Jim Owens and John Dinkeloo (1968): Located on 704 Whitney Avenue in New Haven, CT, architects Jim Owens and John Dinkeloo, both members of the congregation, integrated the finest traditions of ecclesiastical design with the beauty of nature and a simplicity of materials that matched the church’s spirit.
Why do we love it? The beautiful proportions of the space created by a timber structure (with 60 telephone poles) and walls of glass.
Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park – Steven Holl (2005): The stainless steel sculptural administration building rises from the ground in a park setting which sits atop the six-step water purification process.
Why do we love it? Unfortunately closed to the public for security reasons, the intent was to create a park that would be open to residents and visitors, to learn about water treatment. The building is a beautiful piece of sculpture in this almost surreal park setting.
Trolley garage – Architect unknown (about 1900): The former trolley garage at 424 Grand Avenue until recently housed Reclamation Lumber. There are dozens of examples in New Haven of sturdy manufacturing or storage buildings that are vacant.
Why do we love it? It is a beautiful design for a utilitarian purpose. The facade is grand, it sits along a small river and is a reminder of New Haven’s rich industrial and architectural history.
Tags: Eero Saarinen, Gordon Bunshaft, Hopkins Architects, Jim Owens, John Dinkeloo, Karin Patriquin Architect, Louis Kahn, New Haven Architect, New Haven Architecture, New Haven Connecticut Architect, Steven Holl