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PCPA projects receive three honors from AIA Connecticut

PCPA projects receive three honors from AIA Connecticut

PCPA projects receive three honors from AIA Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Oct. 7, 2014) — Three PCPA buildings will receive honors when AIA Connecticut presents its annual design awards on Dec. 2. Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School and St. Katharine Drexel Chapel will be awarded citations and the Theatre School will receive an honorable mention. The awards, given by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects, celebrate the accomplishments of Connecticut architects and the excellence of Connecticut architectural projects.

In evaluating the Theatre School, the jury praised the building’s “very successful and well-organized layout,” noting that there is “a lot of program packed into a compact footprint which is thoughtfully composed in plan.” The building, home to DePaul University’s renowned theater conservancy program, includes two theaters open to the public, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, administration, and all of the workshops required to produce professional-quality performances. A gateway to the Lincoln Park campus in Chicago, the building is also notable for mixing public and educational components—audiences see classrooms on the way to the fourth floor theater —and putting behind-the-scenes activities on view for the neighborhood. The jury also commended the building for its “enjoyable, light filled interior spaces that engage the street.”

The jury also complimented the layout and plan of the Co-op High School, an urban magnet school in New Haven’s downtown arts district, along with the building’s “well composed exterior elements and facades from certain viewpoints.” The building’s exterior materials include brick, zinc roofs, and glass with several custom frit patterns, including one based on abstracted oak and elm leaves photographed in a local park.

For the St. Katharine Drexel Chapel, the first stand-alone worship building for Xavier University of New Orleans, the jury called attention to PCPA’s  reinterpretation or variations on the traditional cathedral elements such as procession, use of natural light, and historic forms. The jury also called out the perforated screen that filters light into the main worship space noting that, “The sloped walls … appear weightless and seem to glow, thanks to a remarkably inventive roof structure.”

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