A Big, Big Architect at a Big, Big School in the Smallest Lil’ State

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We’ve never been the the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, but we’re thinking we might start thinking of travel plans now. Our thinking is that, if we book flights right now for 2008, they’re apt to be damn cheap. Why so long? The school’s Museum of Art, which has an amazing catalog of collections, finally wants to show off some of its goodies and is planning a major reconstruction. They’ve hired big shot museum architect Jose Rafael Moneo to add five levels atop their current structure, which are said to feature gigantic sheets of glass and sharp geometrical lines Moneo is known for (for immediate recognition and reference: he’s the guy who designed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in LA). Here’s some:

The five-storey addition, which is scheduled to open in October 2008, will be called the Chace Center, named for the late Beatrice Chace. Museum officials said her children are donating more than $11 million to the $32-million US project to honour their mother for her dedication to the museum’s work.

Chace Center will have an auditorium and classrooms, and a view of the city and the meandering rivers that run through its downtown. Currently, that view is obscured because the back of the museum faces the city.