Events June 2022

Pirelli Building viewed from North, Marcel Breuer, 1967–1970. Photo: courtesy Becker + Becker.
Hotel Marcel lobby (rendering), Becker + Becker, with Dutch East Design. Courtesy: Becker + Becker.
Precast concrete detail, Pirelli Building, Marcel Breuer, 1967–1970. Photo: Becker + Becker.
Part of the solar power generation infrastructure that will make Hotel Marcel fully independent of fossil fuels. Photo: Becker + Becker.

Historic, Sustainable and Modern: Hotel Marcel

June 25, 2022

The Pirelli Tire Building, formerly Armstrong Rubber Company, in New Haven, CT, was designed by Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) and Robert F. Gatje (1927–2018) in 1967 and completed in 1970. The Brutalist building, famously visible from I-95, will make its next exciting entrance as Hotel Marcel, a 165-room boutique hotel opening mid-May. More than another design-forward addition to the hospitality universe, Hotel Marcel is expected to be the first Passive House-certified hotel in the U.S. and the first net-zero energy hotel. In addition, it is on track to be one of fewer than a dozen LEED Platinum-certified hotels across the country. Taking advantage of the Pirelli Building’s place on the Connecticut and National Register of Historic Places, the project was planned as a certified historic rehabilitation garnering $14 million in state and federal historic preservation tax credits.

The visionary behind the project is both its developer and architect, Bruce Becker, who grew up in Connecticut admiring the local midcentury Modern, especially Breuer’s finely detailed Pirelli Building with its gutsy carve out at the third and fourth floors. DOCOMOMO US/NY Tri-State invites you to join us for this tour lead by Becker and project colleagues who will share the challenges and rewards of creating a sustainable future for a historic masterpiece.

The tour will conclude with drinks and hors d’oeuvres in Hotel Marcel’s lounge.

Bruce Redman Becker, FAIA, LEED AP, is president of Becker + Becker, an integrated green architecture and development firm based in Westport, CT. Bruce’s firm plans, designs and implements sustainable development projects that have a social and environmental value, rebuilding and strengthening communities to help revitalize cities. The firm recently completed a LEED Platinum, 285-unit, net-zero energy transit-oriented development in downtown Hartford as well as the LEED Platinum 500-unit, 32-story, 360 State Street project in New Haven, which incorporates the first fuel cell in the world to power an apartment building. Becker + Becker was responsible for the adaptive re-use of the Wauregan Hotel in Norwich, CT, as well as the Octagon on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan. Bruce was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2019, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. He was a founding director of the CT Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association and is currently chairman of the Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut. A graduate of Amherst College, Bruce attended the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, and received MBA and Master of Architecture degrees from Yale. He lives in Westport in a net-zero energy historic home with his wife and partner Kraemer Sims Becker.

This recent article in CT Insider provides an interesting introduction to Bruce Becker and the project: ‘Captain Zero and his amazing hotel from the future!

Saturday June 25
Hotel Marcel
500 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT
Limited to 30 participants
$45 DOCOMOMO members; $55 general public


The Hotel Marcel is accessible by Metro North to New Haven, followed by a 10-min taxi or uber, or via 1-95 to its parking lot.