Reimagining public space | Hospital Trust Building

  • The chosen cite is located in Hospital Trust building, 15 Westminster street, Providence. The building was used to be a National bank but now operates as one of the properties of Rhode Island School of Design. It obtains a fleet library, a cafeteria that open to the public and residence for students. Therefore, lobby, as a public pivot, acts as an essential role in directing and transferring passengers to different areas.This project aims to create better user experience in public space. Thus, the recreation should be feasible and elements like passenger flow, material and budgets should be included in the design principle. Besides, as group we believed that the functionality and aesthetics share the same importance. Since the chosen cite is belonged to RISD, where should have an energetic and creative atmosphere, the group used series of bright colors and geometric shapes to stress on the artistic characteristics.
  • In order to predict the behavior of the occupants, the group made observations on passengers who went through the lobby three times a day. And the result was translated to diagrams.

    Since the lobby has a one-way entrance, most occupants entered the building from the Westminster street side (left side of the digram). They would go through two automatic doors before entering to the lobby. 65% of them would wait in front of the student elevators to go back to their dorms. In the morning or at the afternoon, 25% passengers would go to the cafeteria either from outside or from upstairs. Sometimes they would choose to sit in the hallway. And about 10% of them would go directly to the fleet library. 

    By observation it could be found that two improper designs exist in the lobby. First, since the hall way is opened only on the west side, no people but custodian of the building could enter from the other side. Through the research it is true that most people would go upstairs or enter the cafeteria. Thus, people would seldom go to the other side of the lobby.  Also because of the frequent use of the Custodian elevator, it is hard for occupants to use the east side while staff going in and out with trollies. To fully use the space in the other half of the lobby, the best solution is to open another exit for custodian elevator on the exterior of the east exterior wall. So the staff would have their own way out to the outside without bumping into the passengers. In consideration of the functionality of the total space, the east part of the lobby is designed to be half dinning area and half gathering area. 

    The second problem is that though there is dinning space in front of elevator, people usually take it as waiting area since most people take elevator to their dormitory. Some take it as a gathering space for brief greetings and talk. It seems to be more beneficial to have a waiting area in front of the elevator.  

  • Furniture design & reference:
  • Renderings:
  • Waiting space
  • Gathering space & dining space