The renovation of the former Masonic Temple in downtown Hartford will bring new apartments to the city but it also is doing something else: displacing some longtime commercial tenants.
One of them, Amenta/Emma Architects, has moved into new space on the second floor of 242 Trumbull St. (That’s the space at the top of the escalator, once occupied by the women’s department at venerable clothier Stackpole Moore Tryon.)
The space is only a block away, but it is miles away in design.
The new space eschews the traditional the firm had at its former offices: it is wide open without the usual offices and cubicles. Everyone is together, even the partners.
“What is created is a space that is all about communication between team members,” Tony Amenta, the firm’s co-founder, told me. “Just being in and in the vicinity of team member fosters a quicker response, instead of being squirreled away in an office.”
At 8,200 square feet, the office is nearly double the size of Amenta/Emma’s previous office on Ann Uccello Street. It’s painted almost entirely white, with ceilings removed to expose duct work. There are some splashes of orange and gray.
Right away, the cracks in the floor and the small pock marks in the walls are noticeable. And that is intentional, Amenta says.
“The texture takes away from the white being too sterile,” Amenta says.