Lincoln School’s STEAM Hub for Girls - Lincoln, RI
Pawtucket, RI LLB Architects has been awarded three 2019 Rhode Island Monthly Design Awards. The Children’s Library at the Cranston Public Library’s Central Branch won silver in the commercial interior design category. Rhode Island College’s Gaige Hall won silver in the commercial renovation/new construction category. Lincoln School’s STEAM Hub won bronze in the commercial renovation/new construction category. The projects demonstrate LLB Architects’ creative approach to renovating existing spaces to incorporate natural light, connect community and foster collaboration.
The Children’s Room at the Cranston Public Library Central Branch was a well-used space by the community, but in need of a renovation after 30 years of active use. LLB Architects worked closely with library staff to develop a plan to revitalize the space and create age appropriate zones. The design features iconic images to inspire children’s imagination. Custom-designed light fixtures feature black and white silhouettes of real-world objects on the sides and colorful, fantasy world images on the bottoms. A hexagon sitting wall provides an intimate and cozy seating for reading. Rhode Island Monthly’s panel of judges commented on the positive feeling of the space and appreciated how the design created “restful spaces among the chaos.”
Lincoln School’s STEAM Hub for Girls created more than 4,000 s/f of additional instruction space for interdisciplinary teaching and learning, along with an art gallery for students and visiting artists. The project transformed existing traditional science classrooms into flexible spaces for group collaboration and project-based learning, while making the facilities more sustainable and resilient. The signature façade features a dramatic glass curtainwall facing the west and 20 vertical fins, or sun shades, spaced in such a way as to create rolling shade as the sun moves. Rhode Island Monthly’s panel of judges commented on the transformation of “classroom spaces into open, airy spaces for learning” and applauded the creation of flexible workspaces.
Rhode Island College’s Gaige Hall was built in 1966 and faced a series of infrastructure issues that affected the learning environment, including lack of natural light and poor acoustics. LLB Architects undertook a total reorganization of departments and classrooms, creating integrated collaborative zones throughout the building. A small addition made a large impact by replacing the two-story center section with a three-story connector that features a double height multi-purpose room, as well as study lounges that benefit from a fully glazed facade. Rhode Island Monthly’s panel of judges commented that the renovation “brought the building to a new level” and admired the successful design concept based on simple materials with “windows, walls, ceilings and floors done in the right proportion.”