flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design

billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial

Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island


By By Dave Barista, Managing Editor | August 11, 2010
This article first appeared in the 200709 issue of BD+C.

When tasked with transforming an early 1920s Italian Renaissance bank building into a fully functional library for the Rhode Island School of Design, the Building Team for RISD's Fleet Library found itself at odds with the project's two main goals.

On the one hand, the team would have to carefully restore and preserve the historic charm and ornate architectural details of the landmark space, despite the new use.

At the same time, the landmark banking hall would have to accommodate the library program—a collection of 130,000 volumes and 400 periodicals, an amphitheater, circulation desk, viewing rooms, student lounge, and study space for 250 students—without jeopardizing the historic character of the space.

The team resolved the conflict by placing two low-profile and completely removable “islands” in the middle of the barrel-vaulted banking hall. Constructed of fireproofed medium-density fiberboard, the islands more than quadruple the square footage of the hall to 55,000 sf, providing much-needed function space for the library.

The two-level “study island” (32x51 feet) provides a reading room, study carrels, and an amphitheater/seating area where students can hang out or study. The 30x30-foot, single-level “circulation island” incorporates the circulation desk, reference desks, and computer stations. The islands are positioned symmetrically in the long axis of the room and frame an open reading lounge in the center.

Reconstruction Awards honorary chair Walker C. Johnson, FAIA, principal with Johnson Lasky Architects, Chicago, said the use of the circulation and study islands was an “innovative solution” for solving space and seating issues in the existing bank space—thus meriting Fleet Library Special Recognition honors in BD+C's 24th Annual Reconstruction Awards.

Related Stories

Giants 400 | Nov 19, 2021

2021 Cultural Facilities Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. cultural facilities sector

Gensler, AECOM, Buro Happold, and Arup top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Cultural Facilities | Nov 19, 2021

Goettsch Partners completes Lincoln Park Zoo’s Pepper Family Wildlife Center

The project doubles the size of the previous lion habitat.

Cultural Facilities | Nov 17, 2021

Henning Larsen-designed Shaw Auditorium opens at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The project celebrated its grand opening as part of HKUST’s thirtieth anniversary celebration.

Cultural Facilities | Oct 19, 2021

Niagara Falls is getting a bigger Welcome Center

The GWWO Architects-designed building will mostly sit on the site of the center it replaces.

Giants 400 | Aug 30, 2021

2021 Giants 400 Report: Ranking the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S.

The 2021 Giants 400 Report includes more than 130 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.

Resiliency | Aug 19, 2021

White paper outlines cost-effective flood protection approaches for building owners

A new white paper from Walter P Moore offers an in-depth review of the flood protection process and proven approaches.

Cultural Facilities | Aug 2, 2021

A new venue for the San Diego Symphony’s outdoor performances opens this week

Rady Shell at Jacobs Park was funded almost entirely by private donors.

Resiliency | Jun 24, 2021

Oceanographer John Englander talks resiliency and buildings [new on HorizonTV]

New on HorizonTV, oceanographer John Englander discusses his latest book, which warns that, regardless of resilience efforts, sea levels will rise by meters in the coming decades. Adaptation, he says, is the key to future building design and construction.

boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: