Waterbury, Connecticut

Completion Date: August 2009

Owner: State of Connecticut, Department of Education


Program: A three-story public technical high school with 212,000 square feet—82,000 renovated, 130,000 new—including classrooms, offices, science labs, a library, a gymnasium, a wood shop, and an auto shop. The school's programs range from hairdressing and culinary arts to automotive technology, manufacturing technology, and electronics.

Design Concept and Solution: The S/L/A/M Collaborative sought to update a single-story, factory-like building built in 1952 to project an image of technological savvy, reflecting Connecticut's evolving vocational curriculum and its increasing emphasis on technological literacy. The architects demolished a 1970s addition to the steel and masonry structure, eliminating classrooms that had been too small to accommodate the needs of trades such as hairdressing and fashion. They anchored the renovation with a new three-story steel-structure academic wing centered on a skylit atrium. With the principles of early modernism in mind, the architects conceived the school's massing as an asymmetrical series of shapes: a prism for the gymnasium, cylinders for the cafeteria and the academic wing. They treated the building envelope as an abstract sculptural form, using allover textures instead of discrete decorative flourishes. The rounded facade of the academic wing balances lightness and complexity through layers of opacity and transparency—white ground-face concrete block, an aluminum curtain wall with fritted spandrel glass, and gridded aluminum sunscreen framing. To complement the cool, crisp finishes of the new construction, the architects re-clad the existing single-story brick-veneered shop wing with horizontal ribbed metal panels. Like the building massing, the cool-toned interiors rely on the idea of shape as a primary feature. In the atrium, a ziggurat-like open stair spans the full height of the space, and fan-shaped skylights flood the building with light. White porcelain tile and white-painted gypsum board round out the straightforward palette.

Total construction cost:  $51.2 million

The S/L/A/M Collaborative
80 Glastonbury Boulevard
Glastonbury, CT 06033
860-657-8077 (phone)
860-657-3141 (fax)


Owner: State of Connecticut, Department of Education

The S/L/A/M Collaborative
80 Glastonbury Boulevard
Glastonbury, CT 06033
860-657-8077 (phone)
860-657-3141 (fax)

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Partner in Charge: Robert F. Pulito, AIA (registered)

Project Manager: Kathyann Cowles, AIA (registered); Fred Saehrig, AIA, (registered)

Design Architect: Julija Singer, AIA, LEED AP (registered)

Programer/Planner: Mary Jo Olenick, AIA (registered)

Job Captains: Heather Van Deusen, AIA, LEED AP (registered); James F. Becker, AIA, LEED AP(registered)

Staff Architect: Stephen Boehm

Interior designer:
Ron Luzi; Tracy Herzer, IIDA, LEED AP
The S/L/A/M Collaborative

MEP Engineer: Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers
Philadelphia, PA

Civil/Survey Engineer: Purcell Associates
Glastonbury, CT

Dan Granniss, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP
The S/L/A/M Collaborative

Structural: Steven Murray, PE, The S/L/A/M Collaborative

Art work by Gar Waterman    
Career Paths Floor, Main Lobby

General contractor:
KBE Building Corporation
Farmington, CT

Robert Benson Photography
©Robert Benson Photography

The S/L/A/M Collaborative

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Meridian Prolog Manager
Autodesk 3ds Max



Exterior cladding
Masonry: A.Jandris & Sons, Inc.

Metal/glass curtainwall: Kawneer Company, Inc.

Concrete: Architectural Cast Stone, Inc.

Metal Panels: Centria Architectural Systems

Elastomeric: Johns Manville International, Inc.

Aluminum: Kawneer Company, Inc.

Glass: Oldcastle Building Envelope

Glass Floor:  Paragon Architectural Product

Skylights: Super Sky Products, Inc.

Entrances: Kawneer Company, Inc.

Metal doors: Cornell Iron Works, Inc.

Wood doors: Marshfield Door Systems, Inc.

Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cornell Iron Works, Inc.

Hardware:  Sargent, Assa Abloy
Lab Equipment: :Sheldon

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: USG

Demountable partitions: Corbin Hufcor, Folding Partition

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Emidio Woodworking, Inc.

Paints and stains: Valspar; Scuffmaster; ICI

Plastic laminate: Wilsonart

Special surfacing: Dur-A-Flex Stonhard Resinous Flooring

Wood Flooring: 
Connor Athletic Floor

Floor and wall tile: Bisazza-Bathroom Curved Wall

Daltile: Locker rooms,Trade Wings, Kitchen floors, Elevator Enclosure

Atlas Concorde: Lobby floors

Crossville: Servery floors

Graniti Reali Tile: Cafeteria

Royal Mosa: Servery, Kitchen

Resilient flooring:
Estrie Marathon: egress stairs; corridor stairs, Roppe-Base
Forbo Smaragd Tractionstep, Mannington Biospec, Nora Rubber, Johnsonite Vinyl

Milliken: Offices and Media Center

Interior ambient lighting: Vantage Luminaires; Lutrex

Exterior: Cooper Lighting

Elevators/Escalators: Kone