JOUKOWSKY INSTITUTE FOR
ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE ANCIENT WORLD
Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute occupies Rhode Island Hall, a historic Greek Revival building anchoring one corner of the College Green. While the building’s exterior was carefully restored, its interior was gutted of all structure and contents, re-animating it with a new program and making room for an architectural language that challenges the notion of archaeology as a conservative and dusty pursuit. The project is both practical and symbolic, providing this new research institute with a contemporary home that is emblematic of campus identity and a locus for contemporary academic excellence.
The building’s open, flexible plan reflects the Institute’s goal to facilitate cross-departmental interaction by bringing together faculty and students from many disciplines. Essential to this effort’s success was AW’s exploration of ways to deliver daylight throughout the building, exploring the translucency of wood screens and opaque glass, in order to dissolve boundaries between student and teacher and to encourage discourse.
AW performed in-depth analysis of the Joukowsky Institute’s program, building envelope, and construction means, in order to achieve a highly specialized, cost effective design that synchronizes historic and contemporary details. Digital fabrication techniques were employed to customize partitions, office systems, and structure, compressing the construction schedule and reducing cost.
The Joukowsky Institute was undertaken as part of the University’s Plan for Academic Enrichment, an emergent initiative aimed at augmenting Brown’s educational culture. Its design promotes multiple ways to connect around the interdisciplinary and convivial study of archaeology. Over its first five years, faculty and student engagement more than tripled, and graduate student enrollment increased six-fold. It is recognized throughout the University as an energized, welcoming environment for academic endeavor that also supports development of the campus community. It was Brown’s first building to be certified LEED Gold for New Construction.