Date Completed: 11/01/2008
PROJECT OF THE YEAR: FIREPLACES
Owner – Pomfret School, Pomfret, CT
Architect - Karl Norton Architect, LLC, Mansfield, CT
Designer – Kevin Tubridy, New England Design, Inc., Mansfield, CT
Structural Engineer – Girard & Co., LLP, Rocky Hill, CT
General Contractor – Rose Construction, Pomfret, CT
Masonry Contractor – B.W. Dexter, Danielson, CT
Masonry Supplier – O & G Industries, Inc., Bridgeport, CT
Masonry Supplier – Connecticut Valley Block, West Springfield, MA
The fireplace is without a doubt the focal point on this beautiful space which was transformed from a storage shed to the Pomfret School Events Center. This fireplace is a back to back, inside/outside fireplace constructed by B. W. Dexter II, Inc. in Danielson, CT with features never before constructed by this firm.
The bluestone chimney caps are a solid 9 in. thick, weighing approximately 5,000 lbs. each. The exterior stone perfectly matches the existing Fitness Center, which was constructed approximately in 2002.
The interior stone is where the drama begins. The stone was hand selected by designer Kevin Tubridy, of New England Design, Inc., Mansfield, CT. Some stones weighed more than two tons and had to be chain-failed into place. The hearth stone in particular was a chance find at best. This stone was found during one of many walks to the nearby woods to find the perfect stone. It eventually was located on the existing facility, covered with mud, moss and other debris. After multiple detergents and pressure washing applications, this stone was cleaned and deemed a perfect fit by the designer. Dexter's crews lifted and set the stone into place, as though it were meant to be.
This fireplace not only is the focal point of this structure but also adds to its ingenuity and sustainability for years to come. Architect Karl Norton, designed a separation wall within the fireplace construction using 8 in. thick AAC units. They act as a thermal break between the indoors & outdoors, taking advantage of green technology at its best. Although the Pomfret School Events Center is not the largest building on campus, its features are by far the most breathtaking.