edited by Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 9/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
The Rhode Island School of Design's Fleet Library marks an $11.2 million homecoming for Office dA's Nader Tehrani, a 1986 RISD graduate. He and fellow principal Monica Ponce de Leon were handed a beaux arts banking hall at the base of an 11-story 1917 building in Providence. (The 55,000-square-foot street-level space was donated to RISD by FleetBoston Financial, and some 500 students live on the upper floors.) The designers' two interventions, both in MDF, are inserted beneath the banking hall's 50-foot-high ceiling vault. What Tehrani and Ponce de Leon call the "grand stair pavilion" houses study rooms under bleacher-style seating intended for poetry readings and theatrical productions; adjacent stands a circulation island canopied by open-weave planking that recalls the coffered ceiling. The library will be officially unveiled October 7 with projections on the outside of the building—by another RISD graduate, Jenny Holzer.