Naugatuck Valley Community College’s New Technology Building houses several high-technology learning environments, the school’s full-service Culinary Arts program, the horticultural program, and the Automotive Technology program.
Through the use of geometry, material selection and material placement, the concept behind the building is to architecturally express an order and a transparency to the major program elements and to the public area that serves as the design’s main organizing element. Architecturally creating a strong sense of arrival on a community college campus lacking clear points of public entry and public common space was also fundamental to the design approach.
The mixed-use academic building houses engineering labs, computer classrooms, general classrooms, culinary spaces, an automotive-tech program and faculty offices plus a freestanding greenhouse structure. Existing buildings and parking areas could not be significantly altered by the development of the project. A critical requirement of the College was the new building needed to make an interior connection to the existing adjacent structure and continue the circulation corridor that links all buildings on campus along an east/west axis. The new building includes an enclosed bridge formed by steel trusses with a curtain wall clad exterior that crosses the steep drop in grade between the adjacent building and project site.
The overall construction cost for the 101,000 gsf project was $27,100,000. The project is 2C construction (under the 1996 State of CT code). The major exterior materials are cast stone, ground face block and curtain wall. Glazed window systems have a coated frit pattern to improve performance values for thermal and solar protection. An aluminum sunshade at the main entrance highlights the building’s main entry and serves to protect the lobby atrium’s clear glazing system.
Major mechanical systems connect to an existing central plant with pipes running in the ceiling / roof cavity of the new bridge element. New high efficiency chillers and cooling towers were included within the scope of the project to achieve increased efficiency for all environmental systems campus-wide.
The two-story central atrium features a 90' wide x 6' high glass tile sculpture by Rhode Island Artist Paul Hausberg.