The Thesis: that a sort of “perfect firm” could be established in a city by creating a strong tie between private, isolated architects and artists and the public that they served. The project was nicknamed “Mother” or “Mother Building,” since it was conceived as “a building that makes buildings.”
Bringing my Bachelor of Architecture thesis to realization was a challenge. I wanted to design a building in which architects would rent space as tenants, and simultaneously provide a spatial system for the city’s general public to view and critique the works which these tenant-architects produced, as they were producing it. The result was a more intensified version of the Providence Art Museum project, designed only half a year prior.
The building consists of a large box which contains multiple layers of large, open-plan workshop spaces. These spaces acted both as display spaces and work spaces. As the public, welcomed upwards into the cube by a visually dynamic, red staircase, passed through these spaces, they would essentially be walking through the architects’ workshops. Large “pods” on the building’s perimeter acted as more private spaces for the tenants to work, although their glass walls still allowed the public to spy on the labors within.
One of the more exigent aspects of this design was providing a spatial motivation for the public to enter the cube and continue their journey through it. To accomplish this, I designed open terraces with rich views of the surrounding city at each floor, and provided a large, green event space on the roof of the cube. This open park also acted as a connection between the Mother Building and the park which sits in the heart of downtown Providence, near Kennedy Plaza.
I wanted the building to have a heavy, “raw,” weathered feel to express its role as a parent to future architecture. This is accomplished through the use of brick cladding on all the outer pods, copper detailing of the structure, and another oxidizing material, brass, to enclose and unify the central cube.
Status: School Project
Location: Providence, RI