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Johnson & Wales University, Rehabilitation Award, Center for Physician Assistant Studies

Immediately following World War II, a new type of steel frame industrial building began to appear in the Jewelry District in Providence, featuring brick veneers and long, horizontal ribbon windows. Designed by Samuel Lerner in 1948 to house jewelry manufacturers, the Claverick Building was an early example of this type. Built with continuous bands of steel framed sash wrapping around the two story brick building, the Claverick Building continued to serve jewelry-related tenants well into the 2000s.

Located adjacent to Johnson & Wales University’s Downtown Providence campus, the building was the perfect location for a new Physician Assistant Studies program. The University engaged Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects to transform the historic building into an open, vibrant, and high-tech facility that includes a gross anatomy lab; a clinical skills practice lab; a 60 person lecture hall; an active learning classroom for 48 students; a library; and administration space.

The project team paid special attention to the character-defining windows, fabricating screen-printed glass and shadow box assemblies designed to reinterpret the patterns of the original windows while also creating visual depth at glazed areas that would otherwise be flatly opaque. The project also included a 1,800 square foot addition onto the original building. Classes began earlier this year, bringing a vibrant new use to a unique mid-century building.

The project team would like to thank Michael Viveiros from Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects; Chris Maury, Justin Bernard, David Presbrey, and Aimee Kingston from Shawmut Design and Construction; and the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development.