Rhode Island Foundation

When the non-profit Rhode Island Foundation bought the historic Union Train Station (which had been converted to a corporate headquarters), they assumed a unique challenge. While the interiors were quite opulent, with dark oak paneling, brass fixtures, and intricate marble, they did not convey the welcoming image that the Foundation wanted to project in its new home. Thus, the first priority for LLB Architects was to reinvent the public spaces to soften the heavy corporate environment, and make them more approachable in keeping with the egalitarian spirit of the Foundation. Both the architecture and interior design sought to introduce modern counterpoints that enhance the traditional architecture rather than merely imitating or competing with it. Throughout the public spaces, LLB Architects pared down the oak detailing and painted the heavily coffered ceilings white to lighten the spaces. New wallpaper with a subtly reflective sheen brightens formerly rich but brooding spaces. Most significantly, an important Rhode Island landmark that was once a grand hub for all society has been restored to a public role in the life of the city of Providence and the state of Rhode Island.