This was a very exciting and challenging project for us. Located in the new Front Street entertainment and retail development district in Hartford, our work began with a survey of the raw space inside the elegantly designed outer shell by Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLP. Originally designed for Restaurant and Retail uses, the new building’s developers had not anticipated housing a 2 story 500 seat music theater and the additional depth it would require between the ground and the roof framing. Thus the challenge began to build “a ship inside a bottle”, as later described by the General Contractor, Fortunato Construction. The required floor depth of the theater necessitated the removal of 4,000 cubic yards of fill and extensions of the buildings major structural framework and foundations. Another significant challenge included the design for safe accessible exiting for the significant number of occupants, as the building was sandwiched between a parking garage and two adjacent tenant spaces. Available space was a constant struggle to fit a very full program – did we mention the full service restaurant and commercial kitchen?