Rhode Island School of Design | The Plan
  1. Home
  2. Magazine 2019
  3. The Plan 119
  4. Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Open AND Flexible Education


Rhode Island School of Design
By Caterina Testa -
Samsung has participated in the project

Founded in 1877, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) at Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the most prestigious university institutes of fine arts and design in the USA. Along with Brown University, the campus’s late 19th- and early 20th-Century historical buildings occupy a significant part of town. The austerity and rigor of the university’s architecture conceal an effervescent and lively social and academic life, one that is constantly renewed by an influx of new students.

As in Europe, mirroring a different approach to upper-level education, in the US the public image of universities has been changing in recent years. The authoritativeness and severity of the oldest university campuses reflected the status of the few privileged to enter; today, ground-breaking and appealing architecture is part of a competitive strategy to attract a greater number of students, given that they have countless alternatives to choose from.

New York architecture practice WORKac won the commission to redesign the ground floor of one of RISD’s flagship buildings. The goal of this refurbishment was to renew the arts institution’s public image, giving primary importance to activities that involve interaction with the town and the public and, more than other elements, will be attractive to students and their families, helping them to make their academic choice.

Starting from the ground floor of a historical U-shaped brick building, the architects at WORKac experimented with different materials, colors, shadows and layout to create a colorful, dynamic refurbishment. The design caters to a need to reposition and rethink the layout of two mainly public-facing offices: one for student enrollment and financial services, the other a careers center advising students on academic and work prospects.

These offices are located in the two wings of the existing building, leveraging its modular structure to...

Proceed with your preferred purchase option to continue reading


5.49 €


15.00 €


From 42.00 €
Choose subscription
Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.