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Pirelli Building, New Haven, Sold; To Become Hotel

January 28, 2020

The Pirelli Tire Building, formerly Armstrong Rubber Company, in New Haven, CT, has sat vacant for nearly 20 years. The Brutalist building, famously visible from I-95, was completed in 1970. It was designed by Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) and Robert F. Gatje (1927–2018). In those vacant years, Ikea has owned the nine-story building. The first two stories serve as a base for the main volume which dramatically balances on three large piers. Ikea demolished the single-story warehouse section for parking, but did not use or change the main building.  

New Haven city officials and Ikea have both been working together over the years to preserve the building, and, recently, developer Bruce Becker of 360 State Building purchased the building for $1.2 million. In a statement to the New Haven Independent, Becker said, “The Pirelli Building is one of the most architecturally significant mid-century modern buildings in the United States and has the potential to be preserved and transformed into a net-zero energy boutique hotel and conference center.” If developed as planned, a new hotel will have up to 165 rooms. The proposed plan allows for stormwater management, landscape improvements, and cleaning and repair of the building’s facade. The Pirelli Building is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places and making the project eligible for state tax credits. 

 

“360 State Builder Buys IKEA Hotel Site,” New Haven Independent, January 6, 2020. 
“Breuer’s Pirelli Building finds a buyer,” DOCOMOMO US, January 7, 2020.
“Historic Brutalist building by Marcel Breuer will be transformed into a hotel.” Curbed NY, January 10, 2020.

Pirelli Tire Building before and after partial demolition by IKEA. Top photo ©Robert Narracci, bottom photo ©Ty Cole.