In typical fashion of their sophisticated style and exercise in clarity, the in-depth texts and richly illustrated images communicate an indomitable focus on the architectural context of their ideas that are accessible to all. There is visual poetry in the work to be sure, but the book provides critical, concise and insightful descriptions of where the design ideas germinate. The reader will be engaged and informed by the way the shapes, materials, and details of these buildings are configured, and have a clear understanding of the works.
The book's title, Centerbrook 4, represents their fourth book on architecture, four decades of practice, and the four current partners - Jeff Riley, Chad Floyd, Mark Simon, Jim Childress - who are each recognized as AIA Fellows, in design. This wonderful new volume also showcases a range of projects currently in development by the firm's next generation of designers.
Founded in 1975, Centerbrook's work has received more than 350 awards for design excellent, and spans from planning and architecture to details that make buildings memorable. The firm's nineteenth century compound of mill buildings on the Falls River in Centerbrook, Connecticut, is both the firm's home and its vital center of experimentation where design in enriched by many streams of influence. A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook performs many other services such as project management, planning, interior design, furniture and lighting design, sculpture, landscape and site design, industrial design and graphic design. All are done from Centerbrook's historic compound. An architecture graduate of MIT, John Morris Dixon, FAIA, left the drafting board in 1960 for architectural journalism, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of Progressive Architecture (P/A) from 1972 to 1996. He has chaired the AIA's national Committee on Design, on which he remains active, and is involved in preservation of modern architecture as a board member of Docomomo New York/Tri-State. He continues to write and edit for a variety of publications, in print and online.
Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA
Jeff Riley graduated from Lawrence University in 1968 and in 1972 received his Masters of Architecture from Yale University where he studied school design and obtained a U.S. Patent for his “Kinetic-Kid” classroom desk.
In 1975 Charles W. Moore, FAIA, Dean of Yale’s School of Architecture, invited Riley to be a partner in his new firm, Moore Grover Harper, PC, predecessor to Centerbrook Architects & Planners.
Riley’s work has since encompassed a wide variety of award winning buildings nationwide including the nearby Stepping Stones Museum for Children and SCSU’s Science Building. Notably, Jeff has designed every building on Quinnipiac University’s three campuses since 1978.
Several of Riley’s buildings have been noted as among the nation’s best, including Quinnipiac University’s School of Law Center and TD Banknorth Sports Center, Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center, Hotchkiss School’s Music Center and Biomass Power Plant, and Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. His 1975 house in Guilford, CT received the New England AIA Twenty-five Year Award. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and recipient of the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence University.
Mark Simon, FAIA
Mark Simon received his B.A., cum laude, in 1968 from Brandeis University with honors in sculpture, and his Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1972. The son of sculptor and a poet, he grew up in the arts.
In 1974 he went to work with celebrated architect Charles Moore, his former dean and teacher at Yale. Over the next five years they collaborated on a series of houses, several of them ‘solar houses’, pioneering what is now called sustainable design. He became a principal in Moore Grover Harper, and then co-founded Centerbrook in 1982. Today his practice ranges from private residences and furniture to large academic, commercial, and institutional buildings.
Most recently his built designs include a contemporary residence hall at Sacred Heart University, a synagogue in Ohio, an ocean view residence in Mexico, and he is in the early stages of a complete renovation and expansion of Yale’s Peabody Museum. His work has been noted for innovative design by publications worldwide and has received more than 100 awards for design excellence. In 1990 at the precocious age of 44 he was advanced to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows.
Chad Floyd, FAIA
Chad Floyd grew up in Washington, D.C. where a memorable childhood was highlighted by his service as a Senate Page for the likes of John F. Kennedy. Later, as a college student at Yale, he caught the theater bug, focusing on scenery and lighting design at the Yale School of Drama. After graduating in 1966, Floyd shipped off to Vietnam and served 13 months as a Marine infantry platoon and company commander. Returned to civilian life, he graduated from the Yale School of Architecture in 1973 and joined Centerbrook Architects two years later.
His extensive portfolio includes projects around the country in academia, the arts, and civic architecture. Locally, his work can been seen at the Florence Griswold Museum, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Garde Arts Center, Mystic Seaport and UConn Health, among many others.
Floyd has garnered more than 100 awards for design excellence. In 1991 he was invested into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, and he is also a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design and a registered Historic Architect with the State of Connecticut.
Jim Childress, FAIA
A principal at Centerbrook Architects, Jim Childress’ portfolio encompasses independent schools, colleges and universities, laboratories, churches, museums, houses and corporate interiors. He has worked over the past 30 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the world-renowned center for molecular biology research.
Childress was the architect for notable projects in the West, including three at the University of Colorado: the LEED Gold Wolf Law School, the LEED Platinum Center for Community, and a medical library on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Jim’s other projects out West include, in Wyoming, a new headquarters for the National Outdoor Leadership School and renovations to its Noble Hotel. His designs in New England can be found at Fairfield University, Grace and First Unitarian Churches in Providence, and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut.
A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Jim’s work has been recognized with 60 design awards including the American Institute of Architects 1998 Architecture Firm Award. He was invested into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2001 and served as the Chair of the AIA Committee on Design in 2015.
If you're unable to attend the event and would like a signed copy of Centerbrook 4, please purchase the "Signed" version below.