2018 Rhode Island Design Awards

Architects, designers and builders are lauded for stunning new builds, renovations and interior design.

Commercial Renovation/Construction



Photography by Nat Rea.

Pride of Place

Architecture isn’t just about aesthetics. It can also be a powerful messenger. As the first free-standing campus center dedicated to the LGBTQ community in the country, the University of Rhode Island’s new Gender and Sexuality Center clearly conveys its mission. Not only is the building, which was designed by Lerner Ladds Bartels Architects, a physical safe haven for LGBTQ students, it’s also packed with symbolism. The stone front is meant to represent strength and permanence as well as the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, thought of as the cultural birth of the Gay Rights movement. Likewise, the pergola is the symbolic “mask” many community members wear in public, while the stone form was designed to “come out” from the pergola to be a safe and welcoming presence to visitors. It’s a project that speaks to acceptance and diversity, which is worth celebrating.

Architect: Lerner Ladds Bartels Architects, Pawtucket
Builder: Nadeau Corporation, Attleboro, Mass.
Photographer: Nat Rea, Barrington



Photography by Heidi Gumula.

Take a Bow

The Moses Brown School’s new Woodman Family Community and Performance Center came to life after a recent strategic plan identified a need for a hub for the campus’s academic, artistic, social and spiritual life. After carefully considering siting and materials, architect Michael Viveiros of DBVW devised a plan for a contemporary structure that could accommodate a variety of needs. A flexible performance space works for everything from plays to small meetings, while the cafe and student lounge encourage engagement and togetherness. As an added bonus, features were incorporated to qualify the building for LEED Silver accreditation. To our judges, both the restraint and use of scale in the design made this a winning submission — for both the Moses Brown students and the architects.

Architect: Michael Viveiros, DBVW Architects, Providence
General Contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction, Boston, Mass.
Theater Consultant: Theatre Projects, multiple locations worldwide
Structural Engineer: Odeh Engineers, North Providence
Photographer: Heidi Gumula, Providence



Photography by Sabrina Scolari Photography.

The Cat’s Meow

It’s always a welcome sight when a building in dilapidation is transformed into something new. So when eighteen-year-old City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats decided to move from the Jewelry District to the former site of an iconic East Side florist, the neighborhood rejoiced. Happier still were they, no doubt, when they saw that architect Glen Fontecchio’s plans were in keeping with the historic area and the existing building, as opposed to a major overhaul. That meant a greenhouse-like entry to echo the former one, with an overall mass that toed the line between residential and urban. Our judges gave many thumbs up to the exterior, noting the sensitivity paid to the surrounding area. Inside, they heralded the playful feel, a style befitting the business’s four-legged clientele.

Architect and Landscape: Glen Fontecchio, Providence
Builder: Bowerman Associates, Providence
Photographer: Sabrina Scolari Photography, Warren

Leave a reply