Yale Boat House, New Haven, CT
The Yale Boat House at Gales Ferry is situated on the Thames River and functionally serves as a storage place for shells with living accommodations for the Freshman crew. But more than that, the building is desired to be the unifying link both physically and spiritually for the complex of buildings where Yale oarsmen have trained for the Yale-Harvard race for the last one hundred and twelve years.
In the spirit of creating a building that will be a symbol of the college's great rowing tradition, a rooftop cupola commands the Thames imparting a sense of dignity. The cupola doubles as a light well for the main congregating room below, and as a viewing platform for the race. Behind the building, two gentle ramps tie the boat house to the river bank like the gangways of a great Mississippi steamer.
The upper floor has spacious suites and fosters comaraderie by creating a communal atmosphere. Open stud construction continues the rustic feeling of camp life and landscaping with old fashioned garden flowers, all selected to bloom during the week of the race, places the scheme within the context of the Gales Ferry Camp. A gravel path below an existing stone retaining wall links the boat house on axis with the existing stone arcade of the "Varsity House."
The renovation of the Yale Boat House, , improved the accessibility of the stored rowing. A new cupola serves as a viewing platform for the race while providing light for the main common room below.