Candice Luhua Chen

New Phase of Knight Memorial Library 

Adaptive reuse of historic library, 275 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI

Knight Memorial Library is a historic library that is currently serving Elmwood community with a diverse cultural background. Nowadays, library serves more than a place for reading but also as shelter, information center, children’s daycare, space for socialization, and community classrooms. The current issues such as vast unoccupied underground space, the lack of clear vertical circulation and lack of clear function distribution, made the library less effective in serving these purposes.

The project aims to continue serving the current group of unemployed and homeless, while attracting young people and family in the neighborhood. I want the library to serve as a community information center with newest information about employment, community news, and events, helping the immigrant population, unemployed groups to better merge into the society.

I especially hope to help create a young parents community. I also want to continue serving the unemployed and homeless group by providing a specific multifunctional spaces for possible health programs such as nursing, free food, barbering, meeting space. Safety is our top concern to ensure that youth, children and parents feel safe at this place. Thus, a separation of user group and function will be used with a focus on clarity of space. By addinng additional structure at the back of the historic architecture, the space is expanded and modernized while the historic values preserved.