Union Studio Architecture & Community Design, Rupert Whiteley (photo)

Providence College: Ruane Friar Development Center

Architecture Firm: Perkins EastmanLocation: Providence, RI Category: Educational/Institutional

Many jurors concluded that as a type, gymnasiums are difficult spaces to accomodate and often are prioritized in terms of “How to decorate or diminish the box?” This solution takes the bold step of celebrating the large gymnasium space by introducing a sweeping structural solution. Of course, the facility is more than its gym, and creatively blends it into the overall massing through detailing and interplays of subtraction and extension, and solid and void—all the while maintaining a bold compositional preference for horizontal lines through the elongated rainscreen panels and the aluminum sunscreen fins. It is noted that the pleasing curve of the gymnasium structure takes advantage of its solar orientation, raising the height of the gym wall and creating generous high bay glazing for capturing north facing daylight. The design's attention to daylight is uplifting and well treated throughout, protecting the south-facing spaces from too much glare. 

Jurors' Comments (AIA Akron, OH)

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