Hotel Marcel: Breuer′s brutalist icon in Connecticut reopens

Abandoned for years, former Pirelli Tire Building by Marcel Breuer has been renovated and converted into a Passivhaus certified hotel.

In New Haven, Connecticut, the architecture studio Becker + Becker has converted the Pirelli Tire Building, designed by the Hungarian-American architect Marcel Breuer, into a Passive House hotel, named Hotel Marcel in honor of the original designer. The studio bought the brutalist building from IKEA in 2019, after it was unused for more than twenty years, and renovated it. The 165-room hotel opened in May under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton Hotels.

The structure appears externally as designed by Breuer, except for a section of the building demolished by IKEA to build a parking lot. The original overall shape, however, has been retained, and the hotel appears as a wide structure with a void in the middle supported by columns so that the top floors and lower floors are divided into two sections.

Hotel Marcel was designed to be the first hotel in the USA to achieve Passivhaus certification and is also aiming to achieve LEED Platinum certification. “With the climate crisis we’re facing, there’s a realization that it’s really hard to justify building a new building,” said Bruce Becker, Becker + Becker president. In this perspective, the roof is covered by solar panels and an additional solar field near the hotel was installed, for a total of more than one thousand panels, which completely power the structure and were also used to provide electricity for the final stages of construction.

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