Graduate Studio, Rhode Island School of Design
Today Woonsocket is struggling economically but it was once a thriving industrial city on the Blackstone River. Although industry has left the city, many of these old mill buildings still line the river. The focus of this project was to not only reuse one of these buildings, but to create a program that incorporates a business incubator.
All of the programmatic elements introduced work with one another and are related in some way. We integrated this idea into the building and created transparency of program and visual connections between related program elements. For example, the kitchen, which is the most important part of the building is ‘inserted’ on the mezzanine level and cantilevers in between the other levels and programs. There are 2 zones of circulation, the employees and the public but they still encompass this idea of connection. When walking up to the restaurant on the 2nd floor, one can pass by the kitchen and see what is happening, but can’t access it.