Rhode Island School of Design Opens The Chace Center

Sept. 29, 2008

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Rhode Island School of Design announces the public opening of The Chace Center designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect José Rafael Moneo. After a two-year construction period the five-story, 43,000-square-foot glass and brick structure, built on a former parking lot, will significantly increase the exhibition and programming capabilities of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (The RISD Museum). Additionally, The Chace Center features the premiere exhibition space for RISD students on campus. The much-anticipated building—a new cultural landmark for the city of Providence—will become a major focal point on North Main Street facing the Providence riverfront and downtown. It will be a place where art is exhibited, enjoyed, and created. An opening highlight will include the inaugural exhibition, Chihuly at RISD, a site-specific installation by Dale Chihuly (MFA '68, Ceramics).

Designed by Moneo to fit on a site bordered on three sides by historic buildings, The Chace Center will be the only contemporary example of a building by an architect of this stature and international prominence in Providence. The building features a façade that includes both clear and etched glass complemented by red brick. Situated on North Main Street, the building is already widely hailed for its innovative design. It has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED®) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Chace Center's third-floor galleries will provide The RISD Museum with more than 6,100 new square feet of temporary exhibition space—more than double the size of the Museum's single largest existing gallery. Specifically designed for changing exhibitions, this space can accommodate massive contemporary works of art as well as traveling shows of national prominence. The construction of The Chace Center will also enable the Museum to reinstall its Eliza Radeke building (named for RISD co-founder) and reinterpret its permanent collection galleries in the most comprehensive way since the building first opened in 1926. Those familiar with the Museum's current Benefit Street address will understand how significant this change will be for the venerable institution.

The combination of the expansion and reinstallation will totally transform a Museum that has continued to add to its encyclopedic collection and expand its programming since its founding.

Chihuly at RISD is presented by Bank of America. Additional support provided by the Providence Tourism Council, Bafflin Foundation, Corning Foundation, and the Chihuly Leadership Committee.

For additional information, contact Matt Montgomery, director of communications for the RISD Museum of Art: (401) 454-6793 or [email protected].

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