SouthLight Starts Up

SouthLight Starts Up

On June 23, 2016, students and faculty in architecture were on Providence's Southside to break ground on a design-and-build project that began during the 2014 Wintersession.


After years of planning, collaboration with the Providence community, and multiple changes of course, students in RISD’s Architecture department are happy to report that the much-awaited SouthLight design-and-build project on the city’s Southside is finally getting off the ground.

Rendering by Praxiteles Lykos BArch 16

Launched as a Wintersession project in 2013/14, SouthLight was originally envisioned as a means of bringing the community together by transforming the crumbling Grace Church Cemetery into a well-lit, family-friendly green space. The project ultimately evolved into an open-air performance venue to be built behind (and administered by) the neighborhood’s Southside Cultural Center. The surrounding asphalt will be replaced by a large green lawn perfect for community events.

Sarp Arditi BArch 17 presents revised plans at a community meeting.

“The design includes a new 1,200-sf performance space built with a lightweight steel frame and a translucent polycarbonate facade,” explains recent graduate Genevieve Marsh BArch 16, one of the team’s key players. “The sides can be opened, and a solar installation will generate more electricity than the project will consume, providing a glowing light at night and offsetting energy use in the Southside Community Center.”

The team broke ground last Thursday, June 23, and construction will continue through the summer. Stay tuned for information about the opening party, currently scheduled for September 12.

Simone Solondz

Also pictured: Qi An MLA 17, Architecture Professor Jim Barnes BArch 69, Victoria Barnes, Feiyi Bie MArch 17, Assistant Professor Aaron Forrest, Yin Fu MArch 16, Will Gant BArch 17, Quinn Que MArch 17, Natasha Ruiz BArch 17, Daniel Stone BArch 18 and Critic Yasmine Vobis.

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