Rhode Island State House Cultural Center
Standing in what used to be the cove, the Rhode Island State House has been isolated from the city by dividing elements of the urban fabric in Providence. To help overcome this physical isolation from its surrounding urban context, I propose to weave into it a State House Cultural Center that is active year-round and dedicated in three main areas to the arts, theater, and education, and will attract Rhode Islanders to use the “House of the People,” returning some of the role that the cove used to play in Providence’s social life as a gathering location.
Located in the sub-basement and part of the basement, it stretches along the east-west axis and extends the State House’s boundaries in both directions.
Sub Basement Plan
Its centerpiece is a theater/music hall in the eastern wing whose stage can open to an outside lawn during the summer months to reach additional segments of the public during performances.
Spaces for a permanent collection of art, temporary exhibitions, and performances, as well as an archive and education spaces, will occupy the central and western parts of the basement.
To the west, stone paving extends across the sunken courtyard, through a wide passage under Francis Street, into a new sunken courtyard with a restaurant as an anchor. A wide flank of stairs links it to the plaza fronting the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Renaissance Hotel, thus linking them to the State House Cultural Center. Arcades along the northern edge of the new sunken courtyard and along the western and northern edge of the existing sunken courtyard front offices for nonprofit organizations and government needs. Two well-lighted glass entry pavilions to the theater and exhibition wings flanking the monumental stair approach to the State House announce palpably the presence of The State House Cultural Center to the public.
Outdoor theater view
The theater can be open to the exterior for outdoor performances that will allow people to enjoy the State House all year round and connect the inside of the building to its surroundings.
- Design Engineering
- Digital + Media
- Furniture Design
- Global Arts and Cultures
- Graphic Design
- Industrial Design
- Interior Architecture
- Jewelry + Metalsmithing
- Landscape Architecture
- Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies