New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Located in the heart of New Haven, adjacent to the New Haven Green and one block from the Yale University campus, W2 House by Justin Hedde and Elizabeth Hedde of Centerbrook Architects and Planners for Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni will be a privately owned, multi-purpose facility.
W2 House has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Conceived by members of the Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni Association, the multi-purpose design will serve Yale alumni with special emphasis on the University’s community of small singing groups.
The overall mission will be to bring alumni together from all walks of life, singers and non-singers alike, in the spirit of harmony embodied in one of Yale’s most cherished assets, its longtime and flourishing choral tradition.
This will become the long-awaited home for Yale’s world-renowned, male acapella singing group, The Yale Whiffenpoofs, as well as for the more recently formed, but also widely acclaimed women’s group, Whim’n Rhythm (thus the name W2 House).
Rehearsal/recording space will be available to Yale’s entire small singing group community.
Importantly, W2 House will also provide a first-rate hospitality destination for all Yale alumni as well as the general public.
The project re-purposes a three-story, historic (1929) bank building that fronts Church Street.
Additionally, it constructs an entirely new eleven-story addition to the rear of the existing building to house modern facilities and amenities.
A new outdoor terrace with an alluring pergola will occupy the third-floor roof of the historic bank building and provide a prominent venue for gatherings and concerts able to be enjoyed also by pedestrians down at street level.
The hospitality program consists of 70 guest rooms and suites (62 standard rooms, 6 luxury rooms, and 2 extended-stay-hotel rooms).
A 45 seat Bar & Grille Room and a 25 seat private dining room occupy the mezzanine level overlooking the historic lobby.
A conference center with over 8,000 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities will include a 2,250 square foot Restaurant/Ballroom designed to also accommodate a 200-person musical concert.
This grand room expands outdoors to the 2,700 square-foot, roof-top terrace overlooking Church Street and the New Haven Green.
A 4,800 square-foot health club and spa will command panoramic views from the eleventh floor overlooking Long Island Sound.
The music center occupies the entire third-floor where 18 foot high ceilings, desired for acoustic reverberation, can be achieved in each of the rehearsal rooms.
These rooms will also serve as break-out and private board rooms during conferences.
There will be a lounge, study area, library, and buttery for student use as well as a place for alumni to casually mix with the singers.
Each rehearsal room will be equipped with sound recording equipment as well as a sprung floor and wall mirrors for dance so that W2 House can establish relationships with local educational institutions and performing arts societies to host special events, offer space for teaching and educational opportunities as well as other community-related needs.
The W2 House at Yale will be positioned as a best-in-market product, a destination hotel, restaurant, meeting, and social event venue that stands above the existing and planned competitive set of hotels in the New Haven marketplace.
It is designed to cater to the traditional business and leisure demand created by the New Haven and Southern Connecticut market as well as the lodging, dining, meeting, and music-related requirements of Yale University.
Project: W2 House
Architects: Centerbrook Architects and Planners
Lead Architect: Justin Hedde and Elizabeth Hedde
Client: Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni, Inc.
Photographs: Courtesy of the Architects