Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Bridgeport Center

Bridgeport, Connecticut

1984 - 1989

Bridgeport Center takes a new approach to the problem of downtown redevelopment of a traditional but deteriorated urban context. Eschewing the single monolithic edifice, this complex was conceived as an assembly of heterogeneous buildings. The result is a composition that attempts to echo the form and scale of the existing city fabric.

Instead of developing adjacent sites as competing free-standing fragments, Bridgeport Center consists of a continuous fabric of low to mid-rise structures in which a series of varying heights and different surfaces relate the complex to various aspects of the surrounding context. In this way the assemblage responds both to the overall view of the downtown area from the highway and a pedestrian-scaled experience of the building from the central spine of Main Street.

The internal focus of the building is a five-story atrium that links the lobby entrances and elevators to the parking garage and thus serves as the distribution core for the sixteen-story office tower rising above.

The adjacent Barnum Museum has been restored as an historic landmark and linked to Bridgeport Center via a wing that provides gallery space at grade, a training center on the second floor and an employee cafeteria above.

Faced in white and gray porcelain steel panels, red granite and clear insulating glass, Bridgeport Center embodies the ways in which ‘cities in miniature’ may be used to revitalize decaying urban areas while still integrating with the existing context and scale.

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