June 26, 2017 – A color palette and textures inspired by walks along the Stony Creek Trails and the Stony Creek Quarry along with views of Thimble Islands will serve as the inspiration for the interior of the $88.2 million renovation of the Walsh Intermediate School.

The interior design team from Antinozzi Associates presented a set of plans showing the new design to the Public Building Commission recently. The commission met again last week to review the school’s design development budget and authorized Antinozzi Associates to move on to the construction document phase of the project.

The team consisted of (L-R) Ashley McGrath, registered interior designer;  Brittney Mayo, interior designer; and Patti McKeon, senior associate/registered interior designer.

They said they drew their inspiration for the interior designs of the school as a result of long walks that led them to reflect on Branford’s history.

Mayo led members in a walk through via a detailed display with interior renderings and materials samples for carpeting, furniture, walls, and trims. She said the team “took inspiration from the rock formations, sweeping walls, and coloration” from their walks. A specimen tray on display reflected the color palette for the building, which would be accented in the interior design by shades of red, the Walsh school color.

Mayo described the new auditorium (lower left,)  as a “jewelry box.”  She went on to describe its design elements and materials, and took commissions members through the hallway, pointing out the trophy case and the wide-screen electronic information board.

The first level, she said, was inspired by the water, the second level by the landscape, grass, and moss, and the third, by the sky. Along the stairs, were accents of bright yellow that she described as the “sun,” a unifying element. Members of the commission commented that the shade of yellow feels “a bit abrupt and too bright.” They also noted that the large window accented the stairway looks directly on to the roof and that the view should be more opaque.

In the cafeteria, the blue flooring with tables from the existing school reflect the Thimble Islands. It was suggested that the names of some of the Thimble Islands be incorporated into the design.

Mayo said that generally the tables would be maple and chairs, red, as inspired by trail signs. The second floor materials displayed are various shades of green. And the third floor will be in shades of blue.

Flooring materials are reminiscent of streambeds, rocks, moss, and water.

To make the information accessible to the public, it was suggested that the displays be recreated for the three elementary schools, Walsh, the library, and the Walsh School Project website.

Read more about the project here.

With permission from the Branford Eagle