THE BARRINGTON HOUSE
Rochester, New York
Winner of 2023 AIA Rochester Design Excellence Award
Photos by Tim Wilkes Photography
The first of its kind in Monroe County, NY, Barrington House is a 28-Bed Community Residence accommodating women in recovery and their children. The new three story, 13,000 square foot building sits on a tight half-acre site in the City of Rochester. The program has a positive impact on the community, as it provides a safe place for women who do not have to make the difficult choice between seeking treatment for alcohol and substance abuse or staying home to care for their children.
The L-shaped building addresses the main street corner and wraps around a south-facing exterior courtyard. The project team pursued a zoning area variance to bring the building 35-feet closer to the street. Reflecting its urban location, this allows for strategic but reduced rear yard parking, and significantly increased the sun-lit green space to accommodate a secure children’s play area. The building is within walking and biking distance of essential services.
The building’s massing is representative of its function, with a three-story volume running north-south housing resident sleeping rooms, counseling offices, and group social rooms. A high bay dining room wing anchors the west end of the site, and the two volumes are linked with a transparent glazed entrance lobby. At the northeast corner, full-height glazing in the group rooms allow for views out to the street and brings in abundant natural daylight, contributing to the therapeutic design.
The facade is wrapped with horizontal shiplap siding. Its two primary hues reinforce the main masses, with terra cotta toned accent ribbons activating the perimeter. A ground-faced concrete masonry water table wraps the base, and front and rear canopies define the entrances and provide shelter from the elements.
The building’s circulation is simple, with large windows at the west terminus, to aid in wayfinding and provide exterior views and natural light. Sleeping rooms have oversized operable windows and natural hued finish materials. The HVAC systems are all electric with individual controls, and the building envelope is highly insulated for energy efficiency and residents’ comfort, exceeding the energy code by 16 percent. Barrington House is a welcome addition to its urban neighborhood, and provides a positive impact on its adjacent properties, and the community at large.
The building glows like a lantern at night, a testament to the amount of glazed fenestration.ted for energy efficiency and residents’ comfort, exceeding the energy code by 16 percent. Barrington House is a welcome addition to its urban neighborhood, and provides a positive impact on its adjacent properties, and the community at large.