Meghan Strevig

Activating Forces

The Rhode Island Statehouse claims to be the House of the People, however, all portions are owned by government entities. There is a desperate need for an area of the building that is owned by the people. The Statehouse welcomes the public to enjoy it daily without space for them to truly occupy. Utilizing the East and West wing of the Statehouse, two proposed atrium spaces are shaped by activism inspired spaces where the people's voices can be heard and projected. Programs include activist art exhibition space, activist educational spaces, and multi-functional flexible meeting areas for activist organization and conversations with the legislature.


Two section perspectives with callouts that detail two activist atrium spaces, which include spaces like education, exhibition, meeting, and office space.

Activist Atrium Sections & Callouts

Activist Atriums

Located in the East and West wings of the Rhode Island State House, two atrium spaces dedicated to activists function as multi-purpose spaces. Each floor within this atrium space is used for multi-functional meeting spaces. Based on the surrounding programs’ needs, the space will either contain bleacher seating for a seminar style meeting area or it will contain a flexible wood wall system that acts as a separation of space, a digital information wall for occupants, and/or a table and wall system for more private meetings. There are also platforms that can rise from floor to floor to promote social equity. These platforms also begin to create unique spatial conditions as the platform is raised up it opens the floor plates and as the platform is lowered it closes the floor plates.


An interior rendering showing a typical condition of the activist atrium space with glass elevators, bleacher stairs, and raising platforms.

Activist Atrium Interior View

Activist Exhibition

At the ground entry level, known as the sub level of the Rhode Island State House, an activist exhibition space is proposed as a space for local artists to be able to create and display their own artwork within the State House. In this space, there is artistic freedom through spatial conditions. Flexible wall systems, a ceiling track system, and a large flexible space allows for artists and visitors to freely interact with the artwork. The flexible wall system that is also located in the other atrium spaces acts as tables to create art and areas to display the artwork, as well. The ceiling track system is flexible, so artists can freely hang different size artworks by just sliding the suspension pieces along the track to fit their pieces. The open flexible space floor plan also allows for larger sculptures and art pieces to exist within the space.


An interior rendering that shows the education space where there are individual mock meeting rooms and two large seminar rooms with bleacher seating.

Activist Art Exhibition Interior View

Activist Education

Currently organizations hold seminars in the Library to teach the general public how they can get involved with their government. An extension of the atrium space on the first floor is dedicated solely for educating the public on how to interact and get involved with the State House and legislative meetings. Two large seminar spaces with bleacher style seating are enclosed with the flexible digital walls that are placed within the atrium spaces, so that people can learn how to properly use these walls as a tool to interact with events at the State House. There are also mock meeting areas that are enclosed with plywood to create privacy, but have openings for a feeling of transparency within the space.


An interior rendering showing an activist art exhibition space where there is a ceiling track system and movable wall panels, so that artists can create art and display art in this space however they want.

Activist Education Interior View

Supporting Documents