At first glance, the project is captivating for the somewhat unexpected but sophisticated combination of forms and materials. The promise of that variety is played out in both the interior and exterior. Narrow walks, broader common spaces, and small, private courtyards create a series of vivid open spaces. There is also a variety of spatially-daring units, each powered by photovoltaic panels. By saving some of the original structure and grandfathering the commercial use, it was possible to create live/work units and provide office space. Not only does this carry forward the cultural memory of the site, but it means that during the working day there are ‘eyes’ on the site. This project demonstrates that it is possible to do responsible work that is vivid, compelling, and, dare I say, beautiful.
—Peter de Bretteville, founder, Peter de Bretteville Architect, Hamden, Conn.