iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

‘hotel marcel’ by becker + becker opens in new haven, CT

 

At the heart of New Haven, Connecticut, sits the Passive House ‘Hotel Marcel’, a converted brutalist building designed by modernist architect Marcel Breuer five decades ago. In 2019, architecture studio Becker + Becker acquired the historic landmark from IKEA and spent the last three years rehabilitating its interiors, transforming a disused office hub into 165 hotel rooms, a lobby, a restaurant, a gallery, and a meeting space.

 

Named after Breuer, the project ultimately represents ‘a model for sustainable hospitality’, with a goal to become the first Passive House-certified hotel in the USA. [It] addresses long-standing historic preservation and economic development priorities to create a high-quality hotel and meeting facility proximate to the waterfront, train stations, and major highways at the city’s gateway,’ state the architects. 

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

all images © Seamus Payne 

 

 

preserving the facades, revamping the interiors 

 

Jointly with Becker + Becker (see more here), US studio Dutch East Design (see more here) helped reconfigure and uplift the interiors to bring ‘Hotel Marcel’ to life. From furniture and lighting to material selection, the team created an overall ambiance that exudes minimal elegance — with wooden finishing, white walls, and muted patterns comprising the main backdrop across several rooms.

 

As for the exterior, the architects focused on preserving the original facade design, repairing it where needed without compromising its striking form and brutalist relief. Shown by the images below, Breuer initially conceived the building in 1967 as a rectangular volume split in half, making room for a central void supported by columns. From the side, the architecture assumes an unsual yet captivating dual shape, making it stand out as a Connecticut landmark all those years.

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

the building was originally designed by Marcel Breuer in 1967

 

 

achieving passive house records

 

Beyond aesthetic renovation,  ‘Hotel Marcel’ hits impressive numbers when it comes to its Passive House features. For one, the architects fitted the building with more than 1,000 solar panels, providing 100% power for lighting, heating, and cooling. Additionally, Becker + Becker complemented the use of solar energy with recycled and locally sourced construction materials, high-performing thermal insulation, low-voltage POE/LED lighting, and electric car charging stations.

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

entrance facade 

 

hotel-marcel-becker-becker-designboom-1800

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

muted colors and wooden finishes create minimal elegance 

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

the interior revamp was led by Dutch East Design 

iconic 1970s brutalist building given new life as 'hotel marcel' in connecticut

hotel room

 

hotel-marcel-becker-becker-designboom-full-1

ARCHITECTURE IN THE US (1324)

BRUTALIST ARCHITECTURE (20)

HOTEL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (564)

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