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June 17, 2024

CT architect named to Biden’s arts commission

Contributed Bruce Redman Becker

A Connecticut architect responsible for the country’s first fully electric hotel in New Haven has been appointed to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts by President Joe Biden, according to information from the commission.

Bruce Redman Becker, president of Westport-based architectural and development firm Becker + Becker, was officially appointed to the four-year term post by Biden on May 13. He was sworn in May 16.

According to information from the White House, Becker and his firm are known for sustainable architecture and adaptive re-use of older and historic properties.

Among other project’s, highlights of Becker’s work includes: converting the former Bank of America tower in Hartford into a 285-unit LEED Platinum mixed-income complex; the 500-unit, 360 State and Elm City Market in New Haven; an affordable housing adaptive re-use of the Wauregan Hotel in Norwich; the headquarters for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York; and redevelopment of the historic Octagon on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan into a mixed-income housing complex.

Perhaps most notably, Becker is responsible for the rehabilitation of the Pirelli building in New Haven into the 165-unit boutique lodge Hotel Marcel, which uses no fossil fuels and runs 100% on renewable energy via its own microgrid. The hotel, which opened in 2022, is the first in the country to be Passive House certified and one of only 10 to receive LEED Platinum certification, both credentials given to sustainable development projects with low carbon footprints.

Now on the seven-member U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Becker and his colleagues will be responsible for advising the federal government on matters pertaining to the arts and national symbols and architectural development in Washington D.C.

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