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passive ‘hotel marcel’ opens in new haven, connecticut


‘hotel marcel’ by becker + becker opens in new haven, CT

 

At the heart of New Haven, Connecticut, sits the passive house ‘Hotel Marcel’ — a converted, brutalist building designed by architect Marcel Breuer in 1967. In 2019, architectural studio Becker + Becker acquired the historic landmark from IKEA and spent the last three years rehabilitating its interiors, converting what were once offices and research labs into 165 luxurious hotel rooms, a lobby, restaurant, gallery, and meeting space.

 

Named after Breuer, the project ultimately represents ‘a model for sustainable hospitality.’ The goal here is for ‘Hotel Marcel’ to become the first Passive House-certified hotel in the USA, with a LEED Platinum certification target in mind. 

 

[The project] addresses long-standing historic preservation and economic development priorities to create a high-quality hotel and meeting facility proximate to the waterfront, train stations, and major highways at the city’s gateway,’ continue the architects. 

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in new haven

all images © Seamus Payne 

 

 

preserving the facades, revamping the interiors 

 

Jointly with Becker + Becker (see more here), Brookly-based office Dutch East Design (see more here) helped reconfigure the interiors for ‘Hotel Marcel.’ From furniture to lighting and material, the overall ambiance exudes minimal elegance — with wooden finishing, white walls, and muted patterns comprising the main backdrop across most areas.

 

As for the exterior, apart from one section demolished by IKEA to make room for a parking lot, the architects made sure to preserve the original facade design — repairing it where needed without compromising its striking form and brutalist relief. As shown by the images, Breuer originally conceived the building as a rectangular volume split in half, revealing a central void supported by columns. 

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in new haven

the building was originally designed by marcel breuer in 1967

 

 

achieving passive house records

 

Beyond aesthetic renovation, the ‘Hotel Marcel’ hits impressive numbers when it comes to its passive house features. For one, the architects fitted the building with more than 1,000 solar panels, providing 100% power for lighting, heating, and cooling. Becker + Becker complemented the use of solar energy with recycled and locally sourced construction materials, high-performing thermal insulation, low-voltage POE/LED lighting, and electric car charging stations.

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in new haven

entrance facade 

 



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