Johnson and Wales University
DPZ first became involved with Johnson and Wales University when the firm was hired to prepare a downtown revitalization plan for the City of Providence, Rhode Island. DPZ made a series of modest proposals that could be enacted in isolated, independent increments. One of the proposals from that first charrette was a plan to increase the University’s downtown presence. The Johnson and Wales administration was excited by these ideas and hired DPZ to return to Providence a second time to develop the proposal further.
The goal of the second charrette was to provide the University with a blueprint for unifying its growth and expansion within the greater downtown area in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. The plan provided a maximum degree of flexibility and included an overall site plan as well as building- or parcel-specific designs, elevations, and street sections, all intended to ensure a successful traditional urban campus. These were coordinated with the overall downtown development plan.
Interventions included: upgrading downtown streets; formulating strategies to facilitate the purchase of smaller downtown lots to permit smaller-scale investments by more individuals; redirecting traffic patterns; creating affordable housing in warehouse lofts for artists and students; planting trees; revising parking methods; increasing retail street frontage for stores, restaurants, and galleries; improving bus service; relocating city services; and creating vest pocket parks. The purpose of all of these measures was to enhance the urban campus environment not only for students but for shoppers, strollers, and city residents as well.