Roger Williams University-School of Visual Arts

University Visual Arts Center, architecture, design
arch 413 Advanced Studio

As Roger Williams University continues to grow, the Bristol campus will expand to accommodate more students and faculty. When analyzing the RWU campus one can see the only direction to grow is towards the private land to the north of the parking garage. Thus, a campus planning problem arises, where can RWU build for the future?

The new RWU Visual Arts Building maximizes campus space. In fact, the RWU VAC is an addition to the existing school of Art, Architecture, and Historic Preservation (SAAHP), creating opportunities for chance connections, encounters, and synergies to occur. The building stands tall as a sculptural element, and mends the previous separation of the visual arts from its schools building.

The existing SAAHP works on a “2 street” system. By extending this circulation system into the addition, one is lead into a grand four story atrium space. This atrium scheme led to a programmatic division on the North and South ends of the building, creating space in the center for art reviews, lounge space, visual connections, and collaborations.