Newport Opera House Theater + Performing Arts Center- Roof Garden
The Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center is actively engaged in restoring and renovating the historic 1867 Opera House Theater in downtown Newport into a 700 seat venue for year-round programming of live performances and other cultural, educational and civic activity. The theater is among the ten oldest surviving Opera Houses in America and the oldest surviving theater building in Rhode Island.
The restoration and revitalization of the Opera House Theater will bring year-round performing arts to Newport’s original town center, and restore an architectural treasure in historic Washington Square. The restored Theater and Performing Arts center will have an enormously positive impact upon Newport by serving as an economic driver, an educational catalyst, and cultural asset to our city and the region.
The renovated theater will include a modernized stage and auditorium; state of the art theatrical equipment, projection, light and sound; a new box office; a large second floor lobby overlooking Washington Square; education and office space; and a wonderful rooftop garden and terrace with views of the harbor and the Newport Bridge designed by PLACEstudio Landscape Design in Newport, RI.
Programming at the restored Opera House Theater will be of the highest quality: diverse and engaging, fun and professional, inclusive and innovative. The theater will offer a broad range of programming and live performances – music, dance, theater, comedy, educational programs, speakers’ series, youth and family programs….and much more!
When open, the restored theater will bring year-round jobs and renewed vitality to our community’s historic downtown.
Construction begins in the spring of 2016, with a planned opening in December 2017 – the 150th anniversary of the original opening of the Opera House Theater in 1867.
Norman Bird Sanctuary- Entrance
PLACEstudio Landscape Design
URI Master Gardener's Program
The Norman Bird Sanctuary
Natasha Harrison, Executive Director
Joseph McLaughlin, Director of Properties
The Norman Bird Sanctuary selected PLACEstudio to re-design the main entrance at the Welcome Center and trailhead for the new Universal Trail. This new entrance and trail provide access to the first floor of the barn, the Welcome Center, Sign-in, gift shop and Administration offices and to Red Maple Pond.
The concept for the garden is based on the mission of the Norman Bird Sanctuary, set forth by Mabel Norman at her bequest in 1949 and by the charge of her will, to maintain the land “for the propagation, preservation, and protection of birds, and where birds and bird life may be observed, studied, taught, and enjoyed by lovers of nature and by the public generally so interested in a spirit of humanity and mercy.” When approaching projects at the NBS, Executive Director, Natasha Harrison always asks, “What would Mabel do?”. We felt strongly that if Mabel knew then what we know now regarding habitat conservation that she would approve of a garden for wildlife that taught the public about the importance of creating habitat.
The RI native plant species were selected based on benefits to birds and butterflies. Food, nesting material and shelter attributes were taken into consideration. Audubon Priority Birds and Monarch butterflies were used as a baseline for selection. Sources for the plant list came from URI Native plantfinder http://web.uri.edu/rinativeplants/, RI Wild Plant Society, and rhodynative.org. The garden itself is an exhibition of native flora found throughout the sanctuary and RI. The placement at the main campus entrance allows visitor’s to engage with birds butterflies and plants right away giving them a preview of what they will see out the trails. This allows educator’s to discuss aspects of Sanctuaries habitat in a more controlled area before they head out for a hike.
It is our hope that visitor’s can take inspiration and information from this garden and create a native plant garden of their own....increasing native habitat on the island and in the region one garden at a time.
Renovated Barn Entrance
Summersweet- Clethra alnifolia
Arrowwood- Viburnum dentatum
Mountain Mint- Pycnantheum muticum
Universal Trail Ribbon-cutting Ceremony- November 23rd, 2015
Newport Open Space Forum
Kinangop Leadership Academy
PLACEstudio Landscape Design
Paul Weber Architects
PLACEstudio developed the Campus Master Plan for the Kinangop Leadership Academy in Njabini, Africa outside of Kenya. Originally begun as a home for orphaned and homeless children in Kenya's slums, Flying Kites reached out to a broader rural community to provide education and a safe learning environment for all children.
The campus plan design is based on a traditional village plan form. Each housing unit is self-sustaining. Water is collected in cisterns for bathing and each house has it's own vegetable garden and fruit tree. The electricity for the campus is powered by a wind generator.
"Flying Kites is a non-profit organization that seeks to raise the standards of care available to the world's poorest children. We believe that in order to BREAK the cycle of poverty, poor children must receive the highest quality of childcare, have access to excellent medical services and receive a world-class education." http://www.flyingkites.org/