Graduate Studio, Rhode Island School of Design
This studio was focused on the analysis of hybrid programming within the framework of metropolitan architecture. Using the abandoned Middlesex County Jail as a case study, the studio was an investigation of hybridity as an adaptive reuse project in a highrise shell in order to explore the concept of an Urban Core.
Currently, big industries are being exported out of Boston but some industries are sticking by. Athleticwear companies such as Puma, Saucony, New Balance and Reebok have their headquarters in the Boston area. Clearly these companies find it beneficial to be located near the many research and design based resources that Boston has to offer. This building aims to integrate design, fashion and architecture with innovative material research and transform Boston into a city for smart design. The programmatic elements extend from the core idea of students and researchers are collaborating with companies and firms in the area to create innovative high tech materials and share and engage with the public, the city and the industry.
The program is broken down into 4 categories: dwell, share, research, and support and is further broken down into individual programmatic elements. The dwellings for researchers and students will be in the top of the building and the remaining programs are spread throughout the building. By inserting a continuous public circulation ribbon into the existing structure, users can actively engage with it’s programmatic elements and event/showroom spaces. This insertion creates potential for this new ‘core’ to become a marketing tool for these athletic companies as well as sports teams and events in the Boston area. The programmatic intervention includes lab spaces that companies can rent out as well as flex lab spaces for the students and researchers living and working in the building.