PROVIENCE, RI.- The Rhode Island School of Design opens its new facility, the Chace Center designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect José Rafael Moneo on Saturday, September 27 in a free daylong celebration featuring music, performances, and tours. After a two-year construction period the five-story, 43,000-square-foot glass and brick structure, built on a former parking lot, will significantly increase the exhibition and programming capabilities of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (The RISD Museum). Additionally, The Chace Center features the premiere exhibition space for RISD students on campusthe new Jacques and Natasha Gelman Student Exhibition Galleries. The much-anticipated building a new cultural landmark for the City of Providence will become a major focal point on North Main Street facing the Providence riverfront and downtown. It will be a place where art is exhibited, enjoyed, and created. An opening highlight will include the inaugural exhibition, Chihuly at RISD, a site-specific installation by Dale Chihuly (MFA 68, Ceramics). The inaugural exhibition in the special exhibitions gallery, Chihuly at RISD, is a site-specific installation by RISD alumnus and master glass artist Dale Chihuly (MFA 68, Ceramics).
Designed by Moneo to fit on a site bordered on three sides by historic buildings, the Chace Center will be the only contemporary example of a building by an architect of this stature and international prominence in Providence. The building features a façade that includes both clear and etched glass complemented by red brick. Situated on North Main Street, the building is already widely hailed for its innovative design. It has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Chace Centers third-floor galleries will provide The RISD Museum with more than 6,100 new square feet of temporary exhibition space more than double the size of the Museums single largest existing gallery. Specifically designed for changing exhibitions, this space can accommodate massive contemporary works of art as well as traveling shows of national prominence. The construction of the Chace Center has also enabled the Museum to begin a total reinstallation of its Eliza Radeke building (named for RISD co-founder) and reinterpret its permanent collection galleries in the most comprehensive way since the building first opened in 1926. The combination of the expansion and reinstallation will totally transform a Museum that has continued to add to its encyclopedic collection and expand its programming since its founding in 1877.