We are currently in Beta version and updating this search on a regular basis. We’d love to hear your feedback here.

RISD Student Success Center / WORKac

RISD Student Success Center / WORKac

© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte© Bruce Damonte+ 16

  • Architects: WORKac
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Photographs Photographs:  Bruce Damonte
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Vitro®, Kawneer, Carritec
  • Lead Architects: Amale Andraos, Dan Wood
More SpecsLess Specs
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Text description provided by the architects. At Rhode Island School of Design’s Student Success Center in Providence, a historic U-shaped, three-story brick building reveals a dynamic and colorful renovation and addition by New York City-based architecture firm WORKac.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

That addition — a rectangular structure inserted into the open section of the “U” — offers two vibrant spaces, a new public face for the building, and an activated streetscape. Half of the addition holds space for mail sorting and pick-up — internet shopping is a central part of college life for Generation Z — and puts packages fully on display, in line with the building’s transparent ethos. Next to this mailroom, WORKac created an auditorium whose sweeping ceiling treatment slides down onto the exterior-facing wall and signals the outer expression of the space: a curved lifting of the addition’s otherwise flat perforated metal skin.

Section
Section

On the building’s southern facade, double glass doors lead to WORKac’s interior intervention, which announces itself as a flash of deep RISD orange. Cross that threshold, and the intervention reveals itself in layers: what is visible in the section of the addition — a perforated wall that lifts to reveal the interior — reappears in the plan in the renovated portion of the structure. A thick wall lifted off the ground and hung from the ceiling winds around the periphery of the entrance hall, its edge marked with the same deep orange that greeted the visitor just a second before. The contour traced by the wall captures two distinct spaces — first, a casual lounging spot right after the entrance door, and then, a more expansive space that eases the transition from the outside to the rest of the building 

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
Floor plan
Floor plan
© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

This mixed architectural vocabulary — extrusions combined with subtractions, lines that reveal solidity — lends a playful spirit. Spatial flexibility facilitates interaction between students of a new generation, who, according to WORKac principal Amale Andraos, often consider themselves a part of a singular “shared brain.” Acoustic curtains on pill-shaped tracks — all the curves, with a single exception, are segments of circles — give users a chance to subdivide the space, giving the intervention a sense of purposeful variety.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

This same sense of customization drives the rest of the design, as it weaves itself both further within the building’s existing structure and then through it, into the addition. The building’s original design made offices tight and cramped, so WORKac created roomier office spaces for RISD’s Registrar, Office of Financial Services and Career Center, with shared areas between them, preserving a high level of privacy so as to give students an adequate respite from the bustling campus and a comfortable place to discuss often difficult topics.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

In the middle of it all, there’s a pause. An all-gender restroom, each stall different in plan shape and color carved out of a solid, lodges itself in the middle of the structure. It’s a subtractive element in an otherwise layered architectural composition, a moment of total independence from the apparent rules. New meets old, and the architecture melts the tension between the two. 

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Project gallery

See allShow less

Project location

Address:Providence, RI, United States

Click to open map
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "RISD Student Success Center / WORKac" 27 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/938338/risd-student-success-center-workac> ISSN 0719-8884
© Bruce Damonte

罗德岛设计学院学生中心 / WORKac

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.