Branford Manor

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Project Type
Groton, CT
442 Units
4,500 sf Community Building

Branford Manor is a large, low-income family housing development built in 1970. It sits on a flat, 73-acre stretch of land on the outskirts of the maritime city of Groton. The city is flanked by the Thames River and Long Island Sound, but this housing development lies inland, where it abuts the Birch Plain Creek Open Space with a trail system leading down to the Birch Plain Creek.

The layout of this site is carved into inner and outer tear-shaped ovals defined by the curved roadways that serve the community. Arrayed within the ovals are clusters of garden-style townhouse buildings. Each cluster of four L-shaped buildings is arranged in a square, with perimeter surface parking and a shared central yard.

While working at Buchanan Architects the design team undertook several design interventions. New cement-fiber siding in a palette of rich, coordinating colors aided in creating a sense of identity for each of the 46 structures. Enhanced signage allows visitors and residents to easily navigate each section of the neighborhood.

A new resident services building houses a multipurpose community hall, computertraining center, and the management office. An adjacent 24-unit apartment building was renovated to provide a new fitness center, refurbished laundry room, and the projects accessible apartments.

For greater pedestrian and biker safety, the architects introduced a roundabout at the main entrance to slow traffic into the complex. To further ensure the safety of pedestrians, all crosswalks will be striped.