Harry A. Conte West Hills School

New Haven Public Schools : New Haven, CT

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New Haven Public Schools : New Haven, CT

The original Harry A. Conte School is located in the Italianate 19th century New Haven neighborhood of Wooster Square. Built as part of a urban redevelopment program after World War Two, its architects, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, conceived the school as ‘temples-in-a-field,’ though in a modern idiom. This was was deeply disliked by the community because it seemed disconnected and unsympathetic to the neighborhood on the outside, and not conducive to education on the inside.

Our goal was to join the school to the fabric of the neighborhood and the city. All existing spaces and facilities were renovated, including the gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, cafeteria, auditorium, science laboratories, library, and classrooms. Two modest orange brick and glass additions improved its functionality and brought the front door of the school forward to meet the life of the street. The orange brick places the school at all times in a pool of warm light.


•Award for Design, American Institute of Architects, New England
•Honor Award for Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects, Connecticut