RISD Degree Project [spring 16]


adaptive reuse | addition

Proposal for an addition for the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport, Rhode Island: a flexible community space and art exhibition system.

Over the last two hundred years, the Redwood has undergone a series of additions and extensions. With each addition was the intention of accommodating programmatic needs as well as maintaining the building's geometries and overall sense of a singular structure. Today, the Redwood faces an issue with identity, both with its own history and in its connection to the Newport community. As an athenaeum and a library, it is lacking space to fulfill its contemporary programmatic functions of exhibiting art and serving its members. Moreover, this design proposal seeks to reorganize the program and movement of both the visitors and members of the Redwood with the insertion of a flexible, community space.

Beyond the creation of additional space, each addition to the Redwood can be understood through the thresholds, or "breaks" in the walls that connect its interiors. In mapping the visual connections and viewpoints of all the thresholds of the Redwood, pre-existing symmetries are replaced with new viewpoints and geometries. As a means to respect the Redwood, the design proposal is generated from these new geometries and inserted underground.