Helpern Architects

Yale Skinner-Trowbridge House

New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University
14,000 sf

Helpern Architects’ restoration of the 1832 Skinner-Trowbridge House into Yale’s International Center for Finance expanded and made accessible “a priceless heritage.” New offices and meeting rooms provide a distinctive 14,000-sf home for academic research in finance and economics.

Work entailed full restoration—in some cases, preservation—because much of the house had been closed off. Work also involved discrete expansion of the ground floor to the rear, to provide offices and a data processing center, recreation of the historic knot garden, and design of a landscaped connection to the adjacent School of Management campus.

The two-story, Ionic-temple portico fronting on Hillhouse Avenue was in need of reconstruction, especially since the addition of a hedge compromised its grand effect.

All these efforts required documentation and evaluation of existing conditions; design and specification of modern infrastructure within the historic building; and discussions with the prevailing historic preservation organizations and agencies. Some of the work, however, was more prosaic, enabling the building to comply with fire safety, circulation, and ADA requirements (including incorporating an elevator).