University High School of Science & Engineering

Hartford, CT

85,000 SF

400 students, Grades 9-12

$33.4 million


JCJ Architecture partnered with the University of Hartford and Hartford Public Schools in the early development and implementation of this unique City of Hartford magnet school located at the eastern edge of the University of Hartford campus. The building supports an early-college STEM program and an interactive learning model that promotes students collaboration with peers, teachers, administrators and faculty and students of the University. The school is organized into learning communities, each grouped around common laboratories, project rooms and faculty advisories. Centrally located on each floor is an internet cafe - an informal space set aside for socialization and collaboration that overlooks the student commons. The commons is a dynamic multi-use space bordered by a 2-story curtainwall on one side and an interior wall that divides the commons from the classroom wing. The building plan responds to a small site constrained by utilities, wetlands, roadways and a part of the Hartford river system. The compact and efficient plan maximized the limited buildable area and facilitated rapid construction.

Learning by Design, Honorable Mention, 2011

This project has been presented as a case study at Magnet Schools of America national conference, the Society of College and University Planners regional and national conferences, and the AIA CAE National School Design Expo.