Shawmut recently completed the multimillion dollar renovation of 189 Canal Street, Providence RI, new home to Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Apparel Design department. RISD’s Apparel Design program is one of the most prestigious in the country, with notable alumni including Nicole Miller, Katie Gallagher, Sally Lapointe, Robert Geller, Nicole Romano, and Marcia Patmos. The building, which opened in August for the fall 2014 semester, now provides a state-of-the-art facility for faculty and students.

Through a design/build partnership with local RI architect Lerner Ladds Bartels, the project to transform the 20,000 square foot building into an academic and creative space began design in February and construction in late April 2014 and was fast-tracked for completion in August 2014. Keeping in line with RISD’s dedication to sustainability, rather than creating a new building, they opted for an adaptive reuse of the Canal Street structure. Additionally, to further their sustainability goals Shawmut worked with a significant amount of existing materials.

The building consists of three floors, each floor has dedicated spaces for every class year allowing students to bond with their classmates in the same stage of training. Additionally, the first floor houses faculty offices and classroom space, the second floor features classroom space and a presentation studio, and third floor houses classroom space and a computer lab. Top innovative features include new museum-like display cases for student work, moveable display partitions and 90-inch hi-definition televisions for classroom presentations.    

“Rhode Island School of Design is known across the globe. Being a part of the future of the college is truly an honor,” said Ron Simoneau, Vice President at Shawmut Design and Construction. “RISD is a great partner; this is our 10th project with the university including the RISD Museum’s Eliza G. Radeke Building. Their fashion and arts programs and facilities set RISD apart from other academic institutions and we look forward to future projects with them.”