Rhode Island School of Design, Fleet Library

Providence, RI




2008 Honor Award, “Outstanding Historic Renovation Project—Adaptive Re-use”, ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Awards
2007 Library Building Awards for Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects/American Library Association
2007 Design Distinction Award, I.D. Magazine
2007 24th Annual Reconstruction Award, Special recognition, Building Design & Construction Magazine
2006 Adaptive Reuse/Material Conservation/New Design/Institutional Award, Providence Preservation Society
Rhode Island School of Design, Fleet Library
Rhode Island School of Design, Fleet Library
Rhode Island School of Design, Fleet Library

Designed by York & Sawyer, this 1917 Italian Renaissance style building is on the National Register of Historic Places. SGH worked with the architect and was responsible for investigating and analyzing the concrete-encased, steel-framed structure as part of a project to convert the building from banking offices to a school library. With this project, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) gains 55,000 sq ft of usable library space in the building’s 114 ft by 180 ft grand banking hall and housing for 500 RISD students on the upper eight floors.


Scope | Solutions


  • Highlights of our work include the following:

  • Reviewed existing documents and historical literature to gain an understanding of the existing construction

  • Investigated the structure’s condition through destructive and nondestructive surveys

  • Analyzed the existing structure and the new, digitally fabricated, one-story Reading Room and Circulation Island structures

  • Conducted materials and physical testing of mockups to evaluate sustainable materials proposed for nonstandard applications

  • Prepared construction documents and provided construction administration services

Project Contact(s)