Background and Context
JCJ Architecture's involvement with the Waterbury Redevelopment Project began with the development of a Master Plan and full architectural services for the relocation of the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Waterbury campus. One of the top public universities in the country, the University of Connecticut relocated its Waterbury branch from a hilltop campus it had occupied for a half of a century to the City’s Downtown Arts and Education District.
Designed to fit into the urban context in which it is anchored, the u-shaped configuration of the new building responds to street life and social gathering of students without sacrificing any efficiency to educational program space.
Sited on the north side of East Main Street across from the historic Palace Theater, the new UConn Waterbury is a self-contained 97,000 square foot campus building that provides a variety of educational and collaborative spaces while establishing a strong visual presence within the City. Designed to fit into the urban context in which it is anchored, the u-shaped configuration of the new building (street front and two wings) responds to street life and social gathering of students without sacrificing any efficiency to educational program space. The interpretive gothic vocabulary, tower and definitive triangle captures a collegiate atmosphere.
Academic spaces include research, chemistry, biology, and physics labs; classrooms; lecture halls; both seminar and small group rooms; computer labs, and a 70-seat case room. The library showcases a three-story open stack configuration with a mezzanines wrapping on 2 floors, and includes stacks and periodicals for 46,250 volumes, 30 reading carrels and multimedia storage and viewing.
Students at UConn Waterbury enjoy smaller class sizes with a low student to faculty ratio and a more intimate campus environment. Uconn Waterbury offers a variety of campus resources and support services including a writing center, math center, peer tutoring assistance, computer labs, and counseling services.
By providing quality educational resources in downtown Waterbury, UConn's investment attracted more local businesses, residents, and visitors to the city’s inner core. Further planning and construction was conceived to contribute significant economic impact to both the City and State, and JCJ was retained by the City to develop a Master Plan for the revitalization of the area.
JCJ thereafter provided architectural services for the renovation of the historic Palace Theater, construction of a new Arts Middle and High Magnet Schools, and an addition/ adaptive reuse of the landmark Anaconda American Brass Company Building into a State of Connecticut Superior Courts Facility.
AIA Connecticut Chapter, Design Award, 2004