Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]
Higher arts education is an enormous luxury. If part of the appeal and exclusivity of higher education is grounded in the extravagance of attending private, reputable schools like Rhode Island School of Design, is there a way to extend this exclusive “club” to alumni and visiting artists and designers?
When we join a club, we become part of an organization that is exclusive to people with similar interests. Education is a club; the privilege to be accepted to an exclusive group of people with similar interests allows for access to professional insight, resources, and knowledge. RISD provides privilege where ability of the hand and luxury of thought are cultivated in addition to the opportunity to form relationships with alumni, artists and designers from around the world.
This relationship between RISD students, alumni, and visiting artists and designers will be made explicit through an open atrium and rooftop, housing an exclusive club in the 1942 RISD auditorium fly tower and existing 5th floor. The RISD Club will function as a hybrid of an existing university destination at Harvard Club and artist societies such as Soho House and Pioneer Works. A space providing connection and exclusive access to the RISD community of alumni, students, and faculty will not only strengthen this artist network but help to spur endowment growth as students graduate and remain affiliated with RISD throughout their careers.
The newly defined North Main Street entrance of the RISD auditorium opens into the old fly tower of the theatre. The atrium filling this space facilitates serendipitous encounters between students, alumni and visiting artists and designers as they wait for the glass elevator to travel to private, student studio spaces, the rooftop restaurant and bar, or a hotel room cantilevered over the RISD landscape. While traveling through layers of studio space in the elevator, the privileged view of current RISD student production provides a visceral experience for the audience of alumni, artists, and designers. These architectural interventions and program acknowledge and celebrate the existing privilege and resources afforded by Rhode Island School of Design and opens doors for contemporary and future artists and designers.
Devall, Madeleine, "RISD Club" (2017). Masters Theses. 168.
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