In Progress

In Progress

A photo essay. To view all 14 photos, check out the email edition of this story.

For decades, the Pirelli Building, a.k.a. the Armstrong Rubber Building, has been stuck in the past, defined by the names of companies whose stay it outlasted. In 2022, when the long-abandoned structure at 500 Sargent Drive reopens as the Hotel Marcel, it will reclaim the more timeless legacy and pedigree of its famed creator, the Bauhaus designer and Modernist architect Marcel Breuer, while also becoming a monument to the future.

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Under marbled gray sky last Saturday morning, the first of two tiny, hardhatted tour groups organized by the New Haven Preservation Trust enjoyed the privilege of seeing that monument in progress, following Violette de la Selle, Alice Tai and Michael Scandariato into and up its exposed guts and bones. De la Selle and Tai are project architects with Becker + Becker, the Westport-based firm spearheading the enterprise; Scandariato is the general manager of the hotel, which will be part of the Hilton family. Picking a path through the lobby, up a Brutalist stairwell, across select floors and onto the roof, our guides shared history and design insights and highlighted forthcoming amenities and unique technical marvels. The latter included details of the plan to generate 100% of the hotelโ€™s power needs from onsite solar panels, distributing electricity to guest rooms via low-voltage Ethernetโ€”yes, Ethernetโ€”cables and making it the first entirely self-powered hotel in the country. Even the kitchen, tasked with restaurant and room service, wonโ€™t be using gas.

You can learn about any number of other notable details from the many regional and national articles that have been published about the project, which Becker + Becker have collated here. But before you do that, follow along with these photos of Saturdayโ€™s tour, and peer inside a historic structure thatโ€™s about to make history.

Hotel Marcel
coming in 2022
500 Sargent Sr, New Haven (map)
Becker + Becker | Hilton

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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