The Design Exchange

Pawtucket holds a special place in history for designers and innovators. As the birth place of the industrial revolution, it is conveniently located north of Providence and within commuting distance of Boston.

Constructed in 1880, the historic mill at 161 Exchange Street is a four-story brick building which was once a part of the Rhode Island Cardboard Company complex. Dubbed as The Design Exchange for its collaborative design potential on Exchange Street, the project represents the last piece of the puzzle in rehabilitating this important area of Pawtucket – paying homage to the city’s industrial past while embodying its future as a creative enterprise hub.

Developed and renovated by LLB Architects, the mill sits within the city’s historic district, which is simultaneously a state-recognized arts district that includes the Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts, the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, the Riverside Lofts, and more.

In dual roles as architects and developers, we were sensitive to the development side of a project and were committed to work closely with the owner’s project manager. The project received state and federal historic tax credits for the project.

With 5,000 square foot floor plates and 8-foot column grids, the building is a natural fit for an open, collaborative studio environment. The design strategy stacks the elevator, central stair, and restrooms vertically in the center of the building, leaving the entire perimeter open and flexible.

Learn more about the Design Exchange and this new thriving design community on its website