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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Highwood Square in Hamden, Connecticut by Ben Ledbetter Architect and Graftworks Design Research

January 19th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Graftworks Design Research

This project was developed as apartments for artists by Mutual Housing Association, a nonprofit organization working to provide quality affordable homes for working families in New Haven, CT.  Located on Dixwell Avenue, the surrounding area is a mix of commercial and light industrial buildings bordered by a residential neighborhood – the existing property and buildings sat vacant for 15 years before MHA bought the property.

Community room/gallery with three bedroom duplex apts above

  • Architect: Ben Ledbetter Architect and Graftworks Design Research (email –, phone – 203-782-1912)
  • Project: Highwood Square
  • Location: Hamden, Connecticut
  • Completion: Fall 2011
  • Owner: Mutual Housing of South Central Connecticut
  • Architects Design: Ben Ledbetter Architect in Association With GRAFTWORKS Design Research
  • Structural, Civil. MEP Engineer: Decarlo & Doll
  • Landscape Architect: MRLD
  • General Contractor: LaRosa Building Group
  • Photography: David Joseph Photography
  • Principals in Charge: Ben Ledbetter, Ben Ledbetter Architect, Lawrence Blough, GRAFTWORKS Design Research
  • Project Team: John Henle Architect, Greg Merryweather Architect, John Heida, Ben Howes

Elevation facing park with metal shingle screen wall

The 48,000 s.f. development includes adaptive reuse of an existing brick 1920s warehouse and office building into artist studios and commercial space.  27 units of housing are designed as both new construction facing a “rails to trails” park and as apartments on the roof of the warehouse with direct access to studios below.  Our strategy was to develop varying unit types that have the flexibility to be used as live/work studio space.  Every apartment has an outdoor balcony plus views to both the courtyard and the park conceived by interlocking the units in plan and section.

Courtyard elevation

Since that this is the first development in the neighborhood to formally address the linear park, the project offers multiple points of access to the bike path and adjacent neighborhood.  A polychrome screen wall marks the edge of the development and works like a large scaled canvas that reflects the surrounding landscape.  Being that this project revolves around the daily lives of artists, color plays an important role in establishing identity for each apartment and for the community as a whole.  All the building materials are standard off the shelf products (metal shingles, polycarbonate glazing, fiber cement board, steel mesh) consistent with the industrial past of the neighborhood but used in novel ways.

Elevation facing park with metal shingle screen wall

Corner detail of community room with duplex apt above

Living room/studio of duplex apt

Renovated warehouse to be fit-out as artist tenant space

Detail of corner connection facing park

Elevation from adjacent property of renovated warehouse with housing above

Dixwell Avenue elevation of renovated warehouse with housing above

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Categories: Apartments, Housing Development

2 Responses to “Highwood Square in Hamden, Connecticut by Ben Ledbetter Architect and Graftworks Design Research”

  1. Ben Ledbetter says:

    My contact information was inadvertently omitted from this article:

    Ben Ledbetter

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