Waterbury State Office Complex
State of Vermont
The floods that followed Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 left the Waterbury State Office Complex in ruin. Floodwaters quickly filled multiple structures on the 100-acre site, displacing 1,500 employees from their jobs and leaving the future of the entire campus in doubt.
In early 2012, after an intense period of clean-up and study, the State of Vermont chose to move forward with a bold plan to rebuild the historic complex. The plan called for restoring the most significant buildings, deconstructing structures rendered unusable by the flood, building a new, energy-efficient central plant, and creating a two-story office building behind the “historic core,” an elegant row of brick buildings constructed between 1891 and 1896.
The renovation of the historic core reconfigured existing spaces to meet the demands of the modern workplace while restoring architectural details and finishes. The Center Administration Building regained its elegant porte-cochère, missing chimneys, and grand cupolas. Inside, windows, wood trim, plaster walls, and decorative fireplaces were restored to their original splendor.
The new office building is comprised of two wings, connected by a central atrium and linked to the historic core by enclosed walkways. An outdoor courtyard unites old and new and encourages both contemplation and congregation.
The LEED Platinum complex was built with sustainability and resiliency in mind. A biomass-fueled central plant provides heat and hot water to the entire complex and rooftop photovoltaics help illuminate the new office building. To protect against future floods, all occupied spaces lie six inches above the 500-year flood mark. FFF served as Architect of Record for the $125 million project, with Goody Clancy Architects of Boston as Historic Preservation Architect.