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Yale University

Renovation and Refurbishment

3,000 sq ft



Cut the drama, cue the lights
It turns out even actors have to hit the books. And meet with their professors, and otherwise live like the rest of us when they’re not on stage. What luck then, that the drama students and their mentors at Yale now have a place, at the top of their campus world, to do just that.

Taking our planning cues from the modernist moves in the sawtooth roof and skylight projections of this 1950’s penthouse addition to the University Theater building, CWA brought life and light into this former library. The trick was to relate the new plan to the old rhythm, achieved through a careful arrangement of spaces that puts the glass enclosed meeting space in the middle – how appropriate! Flanked by a study lounge and faculty offices and bathed in a shade of pale yellow warmth that feels sunny even when it isn’t, the entire space glows without the help of its former fluorescents.

Completed in 1926, Yale’s University Theater is a “Collegiate Gothic” building housing performance, administrative, teaching and rehearsal space for the School of Drama.

Architect Henry Miller designed a modern, third-story addition in 1957 to create the Drama School Library, which was freed for another use when the collection was consolidated elsewhere on campus.

Nuts & Bolts
Transform the 3,000-square-foot, top-floor library space into senior faculty offices, student lounge and shared conference/seminar room.

What You Don’t See
The new HVAC system, whose diffusers double as a design element on the light-well walls.

Best Use
Looking up through the skylights and imagining the spotlight (or your name in lights, or the footlights, or…)

Aztech Engineering, M/E/P
Michael Horton & Associates, Structural
Robin Doerfler, Lighting
Litchfield Builders, General Contractor

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© Christopher Williams Architects, llc        85 Willow Street, Building 54  New Haven, CT 06511        203 776 0184