LOCATION: Westport, Connecticut
An hour’s drive from New York City, Westport, CT is marked by a quaint downtown and suburban living. When the local YMCA, occupying a complex that featured the historic Bedford Building and Firehouse, decided to move from its prime location at the corner of Main Street and Route 1, the property was purchased along with an adjacent lot to create a 1.5-acre site for a 110,000-square-foot, mixed-use redevelopment.
The new project, by economic necessity, would have a very dense mix of retail, office, restaurant, and residential. There was, therefore, a seminal design principle established early on. The project would have to restore the lost art of living closely together, an out-of-character aspiration for this suburban- oriented town. If successful, the project would achieve a uniqueness both memorable and transformative.