The relocation of I-95 in central Providence created an opportunity for Brown University to expand its Medical School into Downtown Providence and engage the riverfront and Providence Harbor. !melk was commissioned to develop a multi-phase public space Master Plan that includes a comprehensive streetscape design, waterfront park, and urban plaza— Ship Street Square. All three project components are key nodes to the surrounding neighborhoods that will help catalyze future growth and expansion.
Ship Street Square establishes a new public space in the heart of Providence’s Jewelry District, providing a main public space that hosts an array of activities. Farmers markets, food truck roundups, outdoor film events and a variety of other spectacles occur effortlessly, as the urban plaza’s dramatic grade change is negotiated with the design of a uniquely detailed wood deck platform.
With great sensitivity to the area’s historical vernacular, !melk developed a new paving product to comply fully with today’s building standards while evoking the historic character of Old Providence. After working with an international manufacturer to produce pavers with a specific color and unique texture reminiscent of Providence’s traditional stone roads, today the “!melk blue®” paver has become the new iconic material of The Jewelry District. The concrete paver is ADA compliant and holds up to weathering and snow removal.
With its unique decking and !melk designed tree grates and paving details, The Jewelry District has become a precedent for streetscape design in historic urban settings.
Kliment Halsband Architects (planning), The Maguire Group (civil engineer), Robert Silman Associates (structural engineer)
Campus Planning for Brown University, AIA New York (2011)