Bay Educational Center

Providence, USA
2005

Croxton Collaborative Architects P C.
www. croxtonarc. com

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the smallest state in the Union and yet has the longest name. This is not the only paradox, as Rhode Island is one of the most densely populated and heavily industrialised for its size. It is also remarkable that a state measuring only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long should have a shoreline of 400 miles. The “Ocean State’s” Atlantic coast meanders north east from Connecticut, along Block Island Sound, via Narragansett Bay, before eventually reaching the state of Massachusetts in Rhode Island Sound. Presiding over these waters the monumentally opulent mansions of Newport have historically provided architectural interest. Most notably, The Breakers, built by the Vanderbilts in 1895, is regarded as one of American high societies most elegant, shorefront, private residences.

The focus has more recently shifted to the opposite (northern) end of Narragensett Bay, where a former Providence “city dump” was reclaimed as the site to house the Bay Educational Center. The environmental organisation, Save the Bay, commissioned Croxton Collaborative Architects to design a facility that would embody their mission to act as the new stewards of Narragansett Bay. The building has a linear, low profile following the coastline, and is embedded into the landscape (Figs. 1 to 6.). The west-facing slope of the sedum green roof is redolent of naturally formed dunes, affording protection from the Atlantic storms. The project received the Environmental Protection Agencies “Phoenix Award” 2006 for the best brownfield reclamation in Region One.

Population I 1,050,788

Coordinates | 41°49’25’N 71°25’20”W

Elevation I 23 m (75’)

Precipitation I 1.180 mm (46.46")

Temperature | Average High:

15.6 C (60 F) Average Low:

5.6 C (42 F)

Humidity I 65 %

 

Bay Educational Center

34 Bay Educational Center | Providence | USA | Fig. 1 above | Fig. 2 opposite

J. A. Flannery, K. M. Smith, Eco-UrbanDesign, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-0369-8_4, © Springer Science+Business Media B. V. 2011

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

The north wing of the building contains the administration and support facilities.

Bay Educational CenterПодпись: Site PlanThe south eastern wing contains the public spaces, benefitting from the bay views and maxising the use of natural daylight. A 20 kW roof mounted, photovoltaic array, takes full advantage of this orientation (Fig.7). This end of the site also provides a boathouse, dock and pier. From this simple launch pad, multitudes of Rhode Island children from diverse economic backgrounds are provided with an introduction to the beautiful ocean, wildlife and eco-systems on their doorstep. A terraced, outdoor ampitheatre completes the educational wing.

All visitors to the Center enter through the dramatic south facing lobby. This space provides panoramic views of the bay from the most elevated point of the promentary. The breathtaking view, combined with an orientation chart covering the lobby floor completes the inspired, nautical, learning experience (Fig. 9). Direct sunlight, illuminating the space is mitigated by a timber slatted canopy to the external elevation (Fig. 8).

A combination of the design strategies (listed below) are employed in the building and resulted in a reduction of peak electricity load of 73% in comparison with similar code compliant buildings.

• High performance building envelope

• Integrated photovoltaics

• High efficiency lighting and controls

• Gas-fired heater / chiller mechanical system.

The consequent reductions in NOx and SOx are calculated to be 67%, with Co2 emmissions reduced by 51%. and ozone depletion by 100%. Croxton Collaborative Architects have been historically instrumental in the development of best practice, environmentally sound, sustainable architecture.

This was recognised in 2005 when the U. S. Green Building Council presented the practice with the National Leadership Award. The award was made in the year when the Bay Education Center opened its ocean front doors to the public for the first time (Figs. 8 and 9).

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center

Bay Educational Center