The Wheeler School Nulman Lewis Student Center

Constructed on a narrow site formerly used as a maintenance area, the Nulman Lewis Student Center creates a
transparent and connective new arrival hub for families and faculty at The Wheeler School.
The Wheeler School146;s Providence campus, near Brown University, incorporates a full city block of distinctive 19th and
20th century buildings. Ann Beha Architects146; Campus Master Plan focused on preserving the School146;s limited open
space, while identifying locations for new construction in under-utilized areas. The Master Plan recommended three
new buildings for the School146;s changing needs: one for student gatherings and expanded dining, another for the
performing and visual arts, and a third for the expansion of a program for special learning skills. The Student Center
is the first of these buildings to be completed.
With its strong street presence, the new Student Center was conceived as a welcoming and transparent gateway to
the inner campus. From the street, it serves as the new student arrival and drop-off, and offers dramatic views of the
School146;s lively interior courtyard. The first floor, with its tall open space, links the neighboring historic Alumni House
and the new cafeacute;, designed by ABA in the renovated Student Union. The new building and adjacent renovation offers
additional seating, as well as a student and faculty mixing space for activities and gatherings. Two new science
classrooms, with expansive views of the campus and surrounding neighborhood, are accommodated on the upper
The Student Center is clad with a distinctive horizontal glass and zinc panel curtain wall system, offering a balance of
thermal performance, visibility and opacity. Its massing responds to the residential scale of its setting, and to the
architectural organization of its companion buildings. On the interior, the building146;s cast-in-place concrete structure is
left exposed as a continuous and durable finish for walls and floors. A steel stair with glass balustrades connects the
many different levels of the three buildings. As part of the landscape and site design, a stepped concrete plinth on
the campus side of the new building provides a place for outdoor events and informal gathering.


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