Red Barn Activates Mitchell Master Plan

Published on December 12th, 2017

Mitchell College took the first step in implementing Centerbrook Architects & Planners’ master plan for the institution by starting work on a rebuild of its iconic Red Barn.

Prominently located at the entrance of the New London, Connecticut, campus, Red Barn was a former working barn of the popular Michael’s Dairy. The project, referred to by the college as “Red Barn Reimagined,” will see the local landmark rebuilt in the same footprint with its original form and character.

Mitchell’s recent groundbreaking ceremony marked a formal beginning for the Red Barn project, which will provide flexible space to accommodate a black box theater, lectures, banquets, classes and student activities.

The college also sees the new Red Barn as a connection to the local community, both as a performance venue and as an attractive function space. In that regard, it aligns perfectly with the master plan for the institution, which endeavors to build greater community within the campus as well as connections to New London.

Centerbrook’s master plan takes advantage of Mitchell’s unique waterfront location by focusing its center toward the mouth of the Thames River and Long Island Sound. The Umbrella House will be relocated to anchor a new campus center and be joined by several shingle-style, one-story cottages. They will house academic departments around an oval-shaped campus green to create the feel of a New England seaside town.

Other highlights of Centerbrook’s phased master plan for Mitchell include the expansion and improvement of athletic playing fields, refreshing the existing residence halls with improved social spaces, and a new marine science and sailing center adjacent to Mitchell Beach on the riverfront of the Thames.

Centerbrook has designed 25 different master plans for colleges and universities, and Red Barn is one of 10 current projects for these institutions.