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257 Thayer Street

Providence, Rhode Island
Date 2015
Size 102 apartments
Cost $28M
Client Gilbane Development Company

257 Thayer Street is in the heart of Providence’s College Hill, a dense neighborhood near Brown University characterized by an active commercial street and surrounding residential blocks. Union’s role was to redesign the exterior of the building with the goal of minimizing its apparent scale and visual impact.

Union began by looking at the surrounding neighborhood and considering the experience as a pedestrian. Throughout the process, we worked closely with local neighborhood and preservation groups to better understand and address their concerns in the final, consensus approach. This final approach organized the primary façade along Euclid Avenue into a grouping of three distinct structures that is more contextually sensitive to the historic massing and scale of the neighborhood, without sacrificing the number of units required for the project to succeed.

Perspective drawing of Thayer Street and Euclid Avenue elevations.
Prominent corner of building at Thayer Street and Euclid Avenue.

The completed building fits naturally with Thayer Street’s two- and four-story masonry mercantile buildings. The elevations along Euclid and Meeting Street feature cornices and pitched roofs more appropriate to these residential blocks. A small courtyard runs through the building to further break down the scale and provide an inviting, semi-private outdoor space for residents.

Inviting outdoor courtyard for residents.