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Eastern Connecticut State University - Shafer Hall Renovation

An adaptive re-use project that sustainably saved an academic building from demolition

  • 91

    Resident Apartments

  • 95K

    Square Feet

  • Willimantic, Connecticut

    Willimantic, Connecticut

Providing much-needed student loft housing

Originally built in 1946, the arts building at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) campus was both outdated and underutilized. Recognizing this—and facing a need for more student housing—the University set out to transform the building into a dorm. We were there to help.

This important adaptive re-use project sustainably saved a building from demolition while providing much needed student housing. We worked with student-led focus groups to determine that the single micro-studio loft style was preferred. Each studio has their own kitchen, study island, and raised bedroom area, taking advantage of the large classroom windows. Our services brought the ECSU building up to code, added elevators, fire protection, façade upgrades, and new common kitchens, lounges, and laundry. Embracing and preserving the history of this symbolic building, our design salvaged the brick walls, beautiful yellow tiles, and some of the older oak millwork. These original design elements, paired with the new contemporary finishes, provide a fresh, durable, and flexible space for students for years to come.

This residential complex is unique to the campus and region, offering student living and social spaces for the campus and city. Now complete, this dormitory is the most desired housing at ECSU.

At a Glance

  • ECSU
Meet Our Team

Colleen Arria, Principal, Interior Design

With functional, spatial, psychological, wellness, and aesthetic variables, finding the right interior design solution is a thrill.

David Lunny, Senior Principal, Architecture

Collaboration allows us to harness the strengths of our teams to deliver design solutions that are creative, practical, and always memorable.
David Lunny Senior Principal, Architecture Read More

Tamara Roy, Principal, Architecture

I pursue artful solutions in every design project—turning constraints into opportunities for creative invention.

Colleen Arria

Principal, Interior Design

David Lunny

Senior Principal, Architecture

Tamara Roy

Principal, Architecture

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