SMMA Wins Providence College Design Competition
SMMA has been chosen to design the new Business School at Providence College, following a detailed process that included an invited, two-stage competition among seven prominent design firms. The winning SMMA scheme defines an interior Landscape of Learning formed on one side by a repurposed dormitory, Dore Hall. The interior of this building is converted to cellular spaces, while the gently curved new wing opposite accommodates larger learning venues and an auditorium. In between, a vibrant, sun-filled atrium with a bridge becomes the building’s heart. The arc of the new façade expands its welcoming gesture, an homage to the embracing form of nearby landmark Harkins Hall while establishing a beacon-like presence at the west façade by virtue of a glazed and canopied entrance element. The building layout and orientation also form an edge creating a green space to the south framed by an existing academic building and two residential halls.
Overall the new business school is grounded in Providence College’s Catholic Dominican tradition, espousing a values-based business education integrated with the liberal arts and asserting that faith and reason are compatible and complementary. Indeed SMMA conceived the entire process of presenting varied schemes as a vibrant dialogue, not unlike those that take place within Providence College’s walls, positing and revealing competing arguments as a method of arriving at a unified truth.