Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Wolfgang Rudorf

Second Advisor

Jonathan Bell

Third Advisor

Heinrich Hermann


Buildings constitute the city, but at the same time isolate people from the action of the city by delimiting the activities within. Considering the relationship between buildings and public urban areas, is there a missing characteristic which could blur the boundary and create a smooth transition, a grey space gradually mediating between the outside and the inside, exterior and interior? Perhaps a type of connection within the city which contains more flexibility and accessibility would reduce the isolation of people from the activities of their own cities.

Isolation of this type exists on the urban scale, but also affects institutions hidden within the urban landscape. One such institution is the Rhode Island School of Design. Although RISD buildings spread over most of the downtown area of Providence without a concrete division, there is no such grey space mediating between the private interior and streetscape, to the urban environment of Providence and activities of RISD. Beyond architectural divisions, student work habits intensify the effect of isolation and result in poor work-life balance.

In order to break the negative effects of isolation created by RISD buildings both from their context in the city and from one another, it is necessary to build one solid connection between RISD and urban environment of Providence. Considering this, an additive, dependent network interlocking with the existing fabric is needed to encourage engagement between RISD students and citizens in Providence. A prototype of this network is placed at the center point of both the RISD campus and urban area of Providence. The network unites RISD buildings to define a community which contains multiple programs within grey space, providing opportunities for interaction between students and citizens of Providence. Through the unity of campus and city, isolation will be decreased and coherence between buildings and the overall fabric cityscape will be achieved.



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