DBVW, Heidi Gumula (photo)

URI College of Pharmacy

Architecture Firm: PayetteLocation: Kingston, RI Category: Commercial Architecture: Higher Education

The siting of the new College of Pharmacy building brings definition to the most significant new public space on campus since the inception of the main quadrangle in 1895. Beginning with the sustainable demolition of an outdated, underground bunker building and the subsequent construction of the new College of Pharmacy building, a new campus quadrangle is reclaimed and transformed from inhospitable hardscape into a gracious, four-acre campus space. South of the new Pharmacy Building, what was previously a vast parking lot is transformed by introducing a new green amenity to the campus: the Medicinal Garden, a space intended to exemplify the University’s long and important history concerning the study and research of natural products.

The design of the new building unifies the University’s pharmacy program under a single roof for the first time. The building integrates two disciplines, biomedical pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice for teaching pharmacy. The new College of Pharmacy building addresses the challenge of blurring the line between the exterior and interior spaces to provide a greater continuity between indoor and outdoor programs / learning environments while connecting to the greater campus community. Special constraints included mitigating a heavily contoured site with a full story of grade difference from east to west, and organizing a major site-utility redistribution, all while constructing around a continuously active academic campus.