O’Neill Theater Center Design Honored

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center expansion, a project designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners, received a Palladio Award as a top project nationally.

The Palladio Award honors excellence in traditional design, a forte of Centerbrook’s diverse portfolio.

Centerbrook’s expansion encompassed eight new cottages for 65 students and faculty plus a new rehearsal building housing dance and music composition studios. The project also reorganized visitor access, upgraded parking and renovated several existing buildings.

Prior to this expansion, which received a Palladio Award as the top Residential & Multi-Unit Project, the existing O’Neill Theater campus consisted of Victorian, Federal, and rustic farm buildings set amidst stone walls and expansive pastures leading down to Long Island Sound in Waterford, Connecticut. Centerbrook Partner Chad Floyd designed the new buildings to fit naturally into this setting.

“We thought a group of charming small cottages in the tradition of 19th-century Methodist Camps might minimize the impact of so much new construction on the campus’s lovely open space,” Floyd said. “We also liked the idea of a socially inviting village for the actors, playwrights and directors who visit throughout the year, and we hoped the porches and intricate Victorian detailing would convey the atmosphere of a simpler time.”

The Palladio Awards program, produced by Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, is the only national awards program for projects demonstrating excellence in traditional design.

The 2016 Palladio Awards ceremony took place July 19 during the Traditional Building Conference at the Lawn Club in New Haven, Connecticut.