Urban Play

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Core Studio

Urban Ecologies

Professor Manuel Cordero Alvarado

Fall 2018

Rhode Island School of Design, Department of Architecture

urban\play is a project which proposes an urban redevelopment strategy for the site of the now abandoned Urban League of Rhode Island campus in South Providence (RI.) The project aims to address issues regarding the lack of family friendly housing in the city of Providence, especially related to the transitory housing system, managed by the DCYF, and which encompasses foster care and long-term adoption. urban\play is a project that empowers children by making them active citizens, and not only citizens-to-be. The redevelopment scheme proposed employs a series of interventions which are aimed at ensuring children can find a welcoming and comforting space both at the domestic and exterior scale, emphasizing the importance of play and creativity. 

Focused also on ensuring that the existing fabric of the neighborhood is respected, acknowledged and preserved where needed, the project carefully assesses the win-lose of large scale infrastructural interventions, which often tend to displace entire groups of people when implemented without attentive studies regarding the lifestyle of those who already inhabit the area.


[Above] Urban context of South Providence, RI.


[Above] A survey of existing play areas in the neighborhood and its immediate surroundings revealed a lack of age-aware and appropriate spaces for recreation 


[Above] diagramming requirements for home studies in Rhode Island and translating them into child-friendly requirements for play


[Above] three bedroom unit floorplans and surrounding context (1/8"=1'-0")


[Above] construction detail of a walkable green area of a building roof

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[Above] in the project, two-toned cork-tiled balconies are used as community building and gathering spaces, creating pockets of activity that link units and their residents together


[Above] the units are designed with children in mind, and certain architectural moments become "games" that allow children to interact with the built environment in a more imaginative and playful manner.


[Above] Site plan and site model outlining approach to site organization and development (1/32"=1'-0")


[Above] building section (1/4"=1'-0")


[Above] Site plan model within the larger context of the neighborhood (1/32"=1'-0")

and perspective from the play area looking towards the mixed-use buildings.


[Above] street section highlighting green spaces and lighting in proximity of residential and commercial buildings (1/4"=1'-0")