The Box Office

LID Type: Bioretention
Use: Commercial
Installer: Stack Design Build
Designer/Developer: Truth Box, Inc. (Developer), Distill Studio (Architect), Morris beacon Design (Civil Engineer), Klopfer Martin Design Group (Landscape Architect), and Structures Workshop, Inc. (Structural Engineer)
Install Date: 2010

Address: 460 Harris Avenue
Town: Providence
Zip Code: 02909
County: Providence

Jonathan Ford, PE
Principal, Morris Beacon Design

The Box Office consists of 12 office and studio spaces constructed from 32 recycled shipping containers on the former Harris Lumber site, an abandoned strip of Providence history. Developer Peter Gill Case (Truth Box, Inc.) envisioned the unique project, and commissioned Joe Haskett (Distill Studio) to design the building. The intention was to provide a first-of-its-kind and highly efficient “Class A” office space at an affordable price. As a result, The Box Office reused over 100 tons of salvaged steel that would have otherwise been wasted, while utilizing as much as 30% less energy than the typical office building.

Civil engineer Jonathan Ford (Morris Beacon Design) provided services for site layout, grading, and stormwater infrastructure, and successfully permitted the project with the Providence Planning Commission and Department of Public Works, as well as the Narragansett Bay Commission. True to the project’s vision, a bioretention system was integrated to filter and subsequently reduce stormwater runoff from the largely impervious brownfield site. The system collects runoff, allowing it to infiltrate back into the ground where, through the process of phytoremediation, vegetation contributes to the treatment and removal of pollutants and filtration of the water. Overall, the bioretention system reduces stormwater flow to the combined sewer system by over 65%.

As a result of the design team’s efforts, The Box Office has become a model of sustainable site selection, site design, building materials, and energy efficiency, and has been the subject of extensive national press, including a feature in the Architectural Record.


Address: 460 Harris Avenue, Providence, RI 02909