Kroon Hall Named Building of the Year

CENTERBROOK, Conn. -- Citing Kroon Hall as a “stunning addition” to the Yale campus and a “lesson in aesthetic brilliance,” the British magazine Architects’ Journal has named the new LEED Platinum home of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Building of the Year.

Kroon Hall also received an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Centerbrook Architects collaborated on the project with Hopkins Architects of London and an all-star team of consultants that included ARUP engineers, atelier 10, Nitsch engineering, Kalin Associates, and Olin Partnership.

The narrow rectangle, built of stone, concrete, steel, and glass, is sited between two Neo-Gothic science buildings, forming two new courtyards, and taking the place of an aging power plant. A grassy courtyard does double duty as a green roof above a new service node for the science district’s trash, recycling, and delivery traffic, now underground and out of sight.

The gabled roof recalls its neighbors while integrating photovoltaic arrays and skylights. The end glass walls with wooden screens offer sheltered views in both directions. The top floor houses a cathedral-like lecture hall, classrooms, and environment center. The middle floors accommodate faculty offices, while the ground floor’s classrooms and library open to the south courtyard.

The 66,818-square-foot building was designed to use 81 percent less water and 58 percent less energy than a comparable baseline structure and to generate 25 percent of its electricity onsite from renewable sources.

“The international attention that Kroon Hall has generated is both gratifying and humbling,” said Mark Simon, who was Centerbrook’s partner-in-charge for the project. “I hope it inspires others to emulate Yale’s commitment and to surpass our combined accomplishments in Kroon.”

Kroon Hall has garnered more than a dozen awards, among them the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment Award as one of the top ten sustainable buildings in the United States.