Trinity College, Admissions Building

Hartford, Connecticut

1 / 9 – Photo credit: Karl Backus
“This building demonstrates the artful integration of a modern building into a historic campus center. The siting is very sensitive to its surroundings. The massing and shifting scale of the building takes advantage of the topography. There is clarity in the plan and constraint in its interior design. It radiates a sense of nobility.”
AIA Pennsylvania Jury



Approached through a grove of mature trees, the Trinity College Admissions Building defines one edge of an intimate quadrangle. The three-story facility is slipped into the side of a hill with only the upper level visible from the primary approach, dramatically reducing the building’s apparent mass. A transparent pavilion of timber, steel and glass, the top floor rests on the solid base formed by the lower two floors. Along the length of the upper level, a limestone colonnade supports a timber trellis, recalling the neighboring chapel’s Gothic buttresses. The resulting cloister-like effect creates an intimate sense of scale and place while providing transparent views to the rest of campus.

On the opposite side, the building’s increased height re-engages with the larger scale of Trinity’s main campus green and the verticality of the chapel steeple. Stone walls and brises-soleil frame a window pattern that remains modern while harmonizing with traditional campus architecture. The two sides are linked by a smaller stone plaza and fountain.

The building’s materials convey substance, warmth and welcome. Its massive fireplace, built of brownstone like much of the campus, marks the entrance and central axis of the building. A glazed staircase leads to offices and meeting rooms on the lower levels, and offers views of the athletic fields beyond.

Project Data

Hartford, Connecticut
1998 – 2001
Trinity College
30,000 sf