New Arts & Athletic Center for Community Preparatory School

April 13th, 2022

LLB Architects is excited to share designs for Community Preparatory School’s new Arts and Athletic Center which will provide a gymnasium, arts facilities, and a much-needed community center for the school. At approximately 11,000 sf, the new building will have the capacity to host the school’s entire community – around 700 people –– all together for the first time!

Serving as a multi-purpose gathering space for Community Preparatory School’s full network of students, teachers and families, the new Arts and Athletic Center will fulfill and significantly expand extracurricular activities. The versatile building will feature indoor basketball and volleyball courts, an art gallery and display walls, performance and backstage production area, along with extensive storage space. The gymnasium can also be used for seating for up to 240 people together at circular tables for meetings or meals. Gathering for graduations and other celebrations, as well as for school-wide shows and athletic events is important for this tight-knit community.

LLB is proud to have a longstanding relationship with Community Preparatory School, an independent school for grades 4-8 in Providence that serves culturally and economically diverse students who benefit from a rigorous academic education in an atmosphere of mutual respect. LLB has supported the expansion of the Community Preparatory School campus over the past 14 years through master planning, assistance with the purchase and closure of Somerset Street to create a playing field, and an addition to their existing building. The new Arts and Athletic Center building is a major milestone in completing the Community Preparatory School campus.

LLB Architects Announces Promotions to Associate

January 20th, 2022

LLB Architects announced the promotion of two experienced employees to Associate in recognition of their commitment to the firm and excellence in their areas of practice. Jeffrey Porter, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP and Patrick Torborg, LEED AP joined the firm in 2015 and have been active in its growth during the past seven years.

Jeffrey Porter, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP has 15 years of experience with strengths in public libraries and municipal building design, as well as affordable housing projects. Recent projects include the award-winning renovation of the Children’s Room at the Cranston Public Library’s Central Branch and developing cutting-edge maker spaces within the historic Weston Art & innovation Center. Jeff is the Director of Project Management leading the LLB’s internal certification for Project Managers.

Patrick Torborg, LEED AP has 10 years of experience in architecture with a focus on educational projects both K-12 and higher education, public and private. Patrick demonstrates his strength in both the design and construction administration phases. Recent projects include the award-winning Lincoln School STEAM Hub for Girls and a renovation/addition to provide critical accessibility at Rhode Island College’s Roberts Hall.

LLB Architects Announces New Principals

October 1st, 2021

LLB Architects is celebrating its 85th anniversary and actively planning for its future by building the leadership of the firm. Five senior staff were promoted to the role of Principal: Suzanne DiSalvo, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Neal Bijlani, Jonathan M. Taylor, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Enno Fritsch, LEED, and Brian L. Valentine, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP. Their demonstrated commitment and leadership combined with their excellent collaboration has been instrumental to LLB’s growth and expansion, including the opening of a second office in Worcester, MA in 2018. Suzanne, Neal, Jonathan, Enno and Brian’s strengths will complement those of LLB’s three longstanding Senior Principals, Christian J. Ladds, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Kathleen A. Bartels, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP and R. Drayton Fair, AIA, NCARB, ALA, LEED AP BD+C, to create an expanded team to lead the firm forward.

Worcester Public Library Redesign Complete

August 16th, 2021

A major renovation of the Worcester Public Library is now complete, including a new front entry and a totally reimagined interior. The renovation features the latest in library design and technology, along with world-class spaces for children and teens. A ribbon-cutting was held at the Library on Thursday, August 12.

LLB Architects designed a new entrance on the north side of the Worcester Public Library facing the City’s main Common and connecting the library to the City’s revitalized downtown. Previously visitors entered either from the parking lot, located at the rear of the library, or using a side entrance. A visually appealing new marquee invites visitors into a welcoming, spacious first floor with a view down the central axis of the building from front to back.

The interior renovation of the Library added 8,000 square feet of space to the first floor by converting an exterior covered walkway into usable space. The ground level gained program elements new to the building, such as an Innovation Center, Media Lab, and quiet study rooms of various sizes. Teens now have their own dedicated space within the library and access to the latest technology offerings to assist with their studies and creative interests.

A signature element of the renovation is the Children’s Room which was relocated to a more secure location on an upper level. Heralded by Library and City leaders as a dynamic world-class destination for families, the Children’s Room combines playful elements to spark imagination with iconic imagery from the City of Worcester. A rocket ship provides seating for quiet reading time. Silhouettes of triple decker houses grace the end of stacks. A starry sky graphic curves across the ceiling while underfoot colorful carpets and projected light visuals of Worcester’s smiley face icon guide patrons through the space.

LLB Architects led an experienced team of engineers and contractors through a complex renovation which worked around the continued use of the Library by library staff and the public. Design concepts were developed working closely with the Library staff and board of the Library as well as representatives of the City of Worcester. The Library’s patron visits are expected to increase from the current 600,000 per year, engaging more of the local community and contributing to the continued revitalization of downtown Worcester.

Seven Hills Charter Public School Feasibility Study

August 6th, 2021

In 2019, LLB conducted a study for The Learning First Foundation’s Seven Hills Charter Public School in Worcester, MA. The school sought to verify the viability of purchasing and renovating an existing property. The study consisted of two parts: an existing conditions assessment of the existing five-story building and the associated site and a feasibility study to explore the fit of the school’s program. In addition to reusing the existing building for the main classroom program, the feasibility study included an exploration of building a new gymnasium on a surface parking lot across the street.

Upon completion of the Existing Conditions Assessment Project and the Feasibility Study Project for the Learning First Foundation and Seven Hills Charter Public School, LLB was selected to continue to the design phase of the renovation project. When originally constructed, the building was used as a school but had since been converted for office use. The goal was to convert the five-story building back into a school for grades K-8.

The project included the design of science laboratory classrooms. LLB worked with Seven Hills Charter Public School to develop designs that suited both educational goals and a tight budget. The first design suited the educational goals but had significant costs. LLB was able to reduce laboratory costs while still finding creative means by which to meet the client’s program objectives through collaboration and flexibility. The resulting scheme was achieved by reducing casework to essential locations, revising wall layouts to reduce new construction costs, and strategically placing services. Upon completion of the schematic design phase, it was determined that the site was not suitable for the School’s desired function. LLB continues to work with the Foundation and the School on a new site in Worcester.

University of Rhode Island Ranger Hall

July 9th, 2021

URI Ranger Hall Active Learning Class

LLB is currently working on renovating the upper levels of the historic Ranger Hall for the Harrington School of Communication and Media. The program consists of classrooms, a film production lab, video editing suites, and an administrative suite. Room acoustics and AV integration are focal points of the design as the new spaces will be used for critical listening and viewing. The mechanical system design also requires close attention as the air distribution system needs to work with the constraints of the wood frame structure while at the same time operate with utmost quietness.

The renderings show one of the active learning classrooms (air link audiovisual technology allows for moveable furniture) and the renovated central corridor that is enhanced with alcoves and sitting benches for informal social interaction.

RISD Counseling & Psychological Services and Health Services

July 9th, 2021

RISD Health & Psychological Services

LLB Architects worked with Site Specific on a gut renovation of one floor of a downtown Providence building to house RISD’s Counseling & Psychological Services as well as Student Health Services. The fast-paced project was completed over 4 months in a design-build delivery method.

Prior to the design stage, LLB conducted a conceptual fit study of the space to determine whether it was suited to accommodate the Health Services division. Meetings with user groups helped inform space needs and allowed LLB to develop a program that reflected desired spaces.

During the design phase, LLB programmed the space collaboratively with directors of both the Health Services and Counseling & Psychological Services which were previously in separate locations. Two distinct types of spaces were needed. Counseling spaces required acoustical privacy and warmth, hominess and a view to the exterior. Health spaces required cleanliness and organization. Other needs were for administration of records, private calling areas, and staff meetings requiring security.

LLB designed treatment rooms in collaboration with the Health Services Director. Existing Health Services equipment was documented and relocated. LLB collaborated with the Health Services Director and RISD’s Purchasing Department to itemize the required supplemental equipment. The finish materials chosen, space layout, and equipment locations maximize efficiency and convenience, and promote hygienic practice. Flow through the spaces was designed with the privacy of visitors and staff as a key objective.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Strength & Conditioning Center Nears Completion

February 16th, 2021

Renovations to Roland Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy are nearing completion as partner Site Specific finishes up construction. The new Strength & Conditioning Center will assist Coast Guard cadets in their fitness routines and greatly expand their training facilities. Hear from some current students and take a tour of the facilities which are made possible by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association.

The new Emlen Tunnell Strength & Conditioning Center is named in honor of the former U.S. Coast Guard who received the Silver Lifesaving Medal for heroic action, and then went on to be the first African American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Learn more about Emlen Tunnell and his impressive accomplishments.

Newton Children’s Library

September 14th, 2020

Constructed in 1991, the Newton Free Library is one of the largest libraries in Massachusetts and has the distinction of loaning the most items in the Commonwealth. Yet, even this modern library required upgrades to meet rapidly evolving technology and service demands. LLB Architects began its relationship with the City of Newton when it conducted a master plan for the Library in 2016 to develop a comprehensive plan for future space allocation and library programming for the next 20 years.

As part of a series of phased renovations, LLB transformed part of the library’s ground floor into a Teen Zone in 2018. The new Teen Center has a mix of study seating, a program/activity space, computer lab, and a brand new maker’s space.

In 2022, the reimagined Children’s Room opened to great reviews from local families. The redesign expanded the space by 4,000 sf resulting in a new spacious Children’s Room of 12,700 square feet. The space includes the main children’s area, the craft and story room, staff offices, expanded family restrooms, and storage space.

Beam Therapeutics Laboratory Expansions

July 7th, 2020

After a period of rapid growth and success, Beam Therapeutics once again employed LLB Architect’s design services to revisit their headquarters and expand the areas dedicated to research and development laboratories. Space is at a premium in the urban neighborhood and this original building’s structure is notably irregular. These factors drove design decisions and considerations which optimized the use of every square foot. The design includes custom furnishings to fit within the irregular angles of the original building structure, thin glazed conference walls which double as writeable surfaces, and designs which provide glimpses into the innovative research through carefully curated glazed walls. Many products specified were consistent with the products and standards established in the original 2017 design project with this same client.