Model No. JLE003

MIT, Options Studio, 36CHAMBERS
Instructor: Deborah Garcia



Pawtucket, a small town in Rhode Island is where this project is situated. Today, the town center feels abandoned.  

Stone fledged civic buildings tell us this town once held significance. The converted warehouses along the river make us believe that in recent years someone tried to revitalize the town to its pervious glory.

The site of the project is situated along the river’s edge. This particular spot has cycled through hundreds of years of substance to different groups of people. The river, at one point contained a bounty of fish and was used as both a summer home and river crossing point for the Narraganset people.

Pushed out by industry, in 1793 Pawtucket became the start of the American textile industry by creating the first water powered mill, Slater Mills. But as a foreshadowing of the past, this industry eventually was left abandoned. Pushed out by labor and material costs, all that was left was the empty warehouse factory buildings, river dams and polluted water.

Today, Slater Mills sits still in time as a historical museum. It tells the story of a certain time in history, but leaves out the part it played in damaging both the past and future.  
Across the water is the site for this project. On small strip of land the building is a mirrored image of its ghosted past.

This new building, is a new extension of the museum. The two are in conversation with one another. Slater Mills glorifies its industrial revolution past, while the new building reinserts the remaining, untold history of the site and looks into the future of industry, capital, environment.

The building is empty of all but a modern day industrial loom. Running on an annual schedule, the loom weaves for almost an entire year- throughout that year the fabric that is produces becomes the building. Held by a roofing super structure a set of tracks and rods house the curtain walls. They divide the building creating new rooms, spaces and experiences. Eventually the building is no longer empty, but completely full of the fabric.

After a year, the building is released, the fabric, is withdrawn and taken to a new home to have a second life. The process begins again.



© copyright