The new home for the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University occupies Rhode Island Hall, a historic Greek Revival building at the center of the campus green.
The Joukowsky Institute is an adaptive re-use project that re-animates a historic icon with a new program and design vocabulary. The historic shell and contemporary liner amplify one another by contrast. While the exterior was carefully restored, the interior was completely gutted of all structure and contents to make room for a vocabulary that challenges the notion of archaeology as a conservative and dusty pursuit and supports the mission of the institute as a progressive leader in the field of archaeology.
The design reconsiders ways that daylight is delivered throughout the project, exploring the translucency of both glass and wood to dissolve the boundaries between student and teacher and to encourage discourse throughout the building.
The project illustrates a highly customized yet efficient design. AW performed in-depth analysis of the program, building envelope, and construction means to achieve a highly customized, cost effective design. Moisture migration studies informed both exterior and interior details, and digital fabrication techniques were engaged to customize office systems, partitions, screens, and structure, compressing the construction schedule and reducing cost.
The project is both practical and symbolic — providing a contemporary home for an archaeological institute within a beloved architectural artifact. The Joukowsky Institute is recognized within the Brown community as a leading example of sustainability and the role of architecture in the University’s “Plan for Academic Enrichment.” Rhode Island Hall is the first building on the Brown campus to be certified LEED Gold for New Construction.
Photos by Jane Messinger, Peter Vanderwarker and Warren Jagger