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A reclaimed early 20th-century firehouse in New Haven's historic 9th Square, this 9,650-sf, Type IIIB building contains a mix of public and private spaces. The centerpiece is an 85-seat performance hall, which doubles as an acoustically-isolated soundstage and live-room. This central element serves to define the spaces around it: the continuous plywood shell that creates varying acoustic conditions within the performance space forms the exterior of the auditorium, providing an internal “marquee” for the theater and wrapping down to create the ceiling of the basement bar. On the second floor, another large birch shell arcs down from a skylight to reflect light into the room and form a physical divider between the living room and 5-bedroom dormitory. The project also includes a 650-sf rooftop addition constructed primarily from CLT. Taking advantage of CLT’s high strength-to-weight ratio and off-site fabrication, the team developed an innovative structural assembly, which it anchored to the existing masonry building with a horizontal steel truss.
Mass Timber, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)