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Architecture

Architecture at Roger Williams University is one of our most challenging and rewarding programs. The mission of the program is to provide students with a strong sense of design, a rigorous technical background and the breadth of a liberal arts education. The Architecture program seeks to develop the “whole person” in society through professional training combined with a required core curriculum in the liberal arts. We offer both undergraduate and graduate degree options in this program.

The program also encourages the mastery and skillful integration of the complex set of variables—artistic, technical and philosophical—which underlie the successful design of any constructed environment. Finally, we want our students to understand that their education constitutes a basis for lifelong learning and intellectual growth, and to understand the diverse nature and variety of roles for architects in related fields.

Architecture Program Mission Statement

The Architecture program at RWU has several unique aspects that set it apart from the competition:

  • Our Teaching Firms in Residence program is the only one of its kind in the country. Each semester, a prominent architecture firm gives guest lectures, critiques student presentations and brings expert field experience into the classroom.
  • Unlike other programs, where students share studio space, at RWU all Architecture students have their own individual space—even at our flagship architecture study abroad location in Florence, Italy.
  • In addition, our program leads to the 4+1.5-2 Bachelor of Science/Master of Architecture dual degree, or a pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.

Applicants must also submit a portfolio to demonstrate previous experience, skills level, and potential for development. For details, please see the Special Requirements for Undergraduate Admissions web page, or contact the SAAHP Office at (401) 254-3681, or saahp@rwu.edu.

Roberto Viola Ochoa
Visiting Assistant Professor

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Miami
Master of Architecture in Urban Design, Harvard University

Contact Information
(401) 254-3605
Areas of Expertise: 
Comprehensive Design

Roberto Viola Ochoa

Roberto
Viola Ochoa
Visiting Assistant Professor

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Miami
Master of Architecture in Urban Design, Harvard University

Contact Information
(401) 254-3605
Areas of Expertise: 
Comprehensive Design

Roberto began his architectural studies at the San Pablo C.E.U. in Madrid, Spain, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Miami. In 1997, Roberto obtained a Master’s of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Following a short period at HOK in Houston, he returned to Boston in 1999 where he began a professional practice at Sasaki Associates in Watertown, MA. At Sasaki, Roberto had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, both academic and mixed-use residential, nationally and all over the world.

In parallel to his 17 years of practice at Sasaki, Roberto had an active private practice focusing on smaller-scale residential interventions and competition projects. These projects lead to the founding of iVY Design Associates in partnership with Japanes architect, Junko Yamamoto.

Ginette Wessel
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Ph.D. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
M.Arch. University of North Carolina, Charlotte
M.A. Geography, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
B.S. Architecture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Contact Information
(401) 254-3602
AR 215

Ginette Wessel

Ginette
Wessel
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Ph.D. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
M.Arch. University of North Carolina, Charlotte
M.A. Geography, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
B.S. Architecture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Contact Information
(401) 254-3602
AR 215

Ginette Wessel joined the SAAHP at Roger Williams University in 2016 where she teaches architecture and urban planning courses. Her primary research interests include contemporary issues of urban development with an emphasis on sustainability, social equity, and communication technology. Her recent work combines ethnographic fieldwork and spatial data analysis to evaluate the ways in which mobile food vendors emerge from the bottom-up, challenge past planning methods through mobility, communication technology, and contestation, and ultimately construct new forms of urban space and policy.

Before joining the SAAHP faculty, Dr. Wessel was a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) Policy Board where she participated in sustainable design initiatives for the City of San José. Recent public speaking engagements on her work include UCLA’s Digital Cities, Smarter Transportation Forum, Adobe’s Sustainability and Technology Forum, and UC Berkeley’s Digital Society in Context-New Media Research Workshop.

Olga Mesa
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Contact Information

Olga Mesa

Olga
Mesa
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Contact Information
Anthony Piermarini, AIA
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture, Cornell University
Master of Architecture, Harvard University
Registered Architect

Contact Information
(401) 254-3639
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture / Design

Anthony Piermarini

Anthony
Piermarini
AIA
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Bachelor of Architecture, Cornell University
Master of Architecture, Harvard University
Registered Architect

Contact Information
(401) 254-3639
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture / Design

Anthony Piermarini received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture II at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He joined the full-time faculty in 2015 after having taught at the Graduate Level through the Teaching Firm in Residence program at RWU. He is currently serving as the Program Director in Beginning Studies in Architecture, teaches design studio and digital design. His interests lie in the intersection between architecture and social engagement. These interests inform his approach to both teaching and practice.

In 2002, he founded Studio Luz Architects in partnership with Hansy Better Barraza. The firm is as an agile, forward thinking practice that strives to link social responsibility, sustainable construction practices with built material expression. Studio Luz Architects has garnered many awards, including an American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum, four AIA Design Awards and being named one of Architecture Record’s Design Vanguard firms in 2006. Piermarini is also the recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award among other notable awards.

Nathan Fash
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Contact Information
(401) 254-5334

Nathan Fash

Nathan
Fash
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Contact Information
(401) 254-5334
Leonard Yui, AIA, LEED AP
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Post-Professional Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
Post-Professional Master of Architecture, University of Oregon
Ecological Design Certificate, University of Oregon
Bachelor of Architecture, California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo
USGBC LEED Accredited Professional
Registered Architect

Contact Information
(401) 254-3011
School of Architecture 215
Areas of Expertise: 
Urban Ecological Design, Sustainable Architecture, Landscape Architecture

Leonard Yui

Leonard
Yui
AIA, LEED AP
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Post-Professional Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
Post-Professional Master of Architecture, University of Oregon
Ecological Design Certificate, University of Oregon
Bachelor of Architecture, California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo
USGBC LEED Accredited Professional
Registered Architect

Contact Information
(401) 254-3011
School of Architecture 215
Areas of Expertise: 
Urban Ecological Design, Sustainable Architecture, Landscape Architecture

Assistant Professor Leonard Yui’s research investigates the intersection of architecture, ecology and landscape. His recent work examines the materiality and infrastructure of urban wood and expanding its ecological application through forest science, urban theory and design practice. He has presented his work at many peer-reviewed conferences including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) and Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC). 

Stephen White, AIA
Dean and Professor of Architecture

Master of Architecture, Washington University St. Louis
M.A. in Literature and History, Washington University in St. Louis
B.A. summa cum laude in Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis
Registered Architect

View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3607
AR 211
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Macro Projects

Stephen White

Stephen
White
AIA
Dean and Professor of Architecture

Master of Architecture, Washington University St. Louis
M.A. in Literature and History, Washington University in St. Louis
B.A. summa cum laude in Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis
Registered Architect

sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/white_s_faculty-cv_2017.pdf
Contact Information
x3607
AR 211
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Macro Projects

Stephen White, AIA, is Dean and Professor of Architecture at the Roger Williams University School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation. There he has led with colleagues the establishment in 1997 of the school in its current form, as well as graduate programs in Architecture, Historic Preservation, and graduate certificates in Urban and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation subsequently. He has co-founded with colleagues several initiatives and centers linking the university, professions and community including the Career Investment Program, the Teaching Firm in Residence Program, the Samsung Design Studio, university-wide cloud computing (rCloud), the Womens Leadership Network, Community Partnerships Center, Center for Macro Projects and Diplomacy, RWU Arboretum, and the American Institute of Architects Rhode Island’s chapter space in Providence. He is a recipient of a University Excellence in Teaching Award.

Jeremy C. Wells, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation

Ph.D. Clemson University
M.S. University of Pennsylvania
B.S. Southeast Missouri State University

View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
(401) 254-5338
AR 253
Areas of Expertise: 
Historic Preservation/Heritage Conservation, World Heritage, Preservation Law, Community Planning, Place Attachment, Environmental Design and Behavior Research, Social Science Methods

Jeremy C. Wells

Jeremy C.
Wells
Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation

Ph.D. Clemson University
M.S. University of Pennsylvania
B.S. Southeast Missouri State University

sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/jeremy_wells_-_curriculum_vitae.p.pdf
Contact Information
(401) 254-5338
AR 253
Areas of Expertise: 
Historic Preservation/Heritage Conservation, World Heritage, Preservation Law, Community Planning, Place Attachment, Environmental Design and Behavior Research, Social Science Methods

We know that people like historic buildings, places, and landscapes. Quantitatively, we also know that everyday people--across the planet--spend large sums of money engaging in heritage tourism. In surveys, the majority of people support saving historic buildings and places. Yet, most people do not self-identify as “historic preservationists”. Why?

We also know that people like natural or "wild" places; in fact, many of the reasons that people like historic places seem to also hold true for natural places as well. As a concept, "conservation" has very similar goals for historic and natural environments. Yet, historic preservationists and environmentalists don't often work effectively together. Why?

What if we were to conserve all human-experienced environments under the common concept of "place"? A focus on "place conservation" recognizes that nearly all environments have some combination of cultural and natural elements and that everyday people don't separate the two into discrete concepts when experiencing a place.

Mete H. Turan, Ph.D.
Professor of Architecture

B.S.C.E. Robert College
M.S.C.E. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Arch., Ph.D. Columbia University
Registered Architect
Registered Professional Engineer

View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3767
AR 243
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Structures

Mete H. Turan

Mete H.
Turan
Ph.D.
Professor of Architecture

B.S.C.E. Robert College
M.S.C.E. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Arch., Ph.D. Columbia University
Registered Architect
Registered Professional Engineer

sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/turan_cv_2011.pdf
Contact Information
x3767
AR 243
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Structures
Jeffrey Staats, AIA, AICP
Professor of Architecture

B.Arch. Boston Architectural Center
M.C.P., Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Registered Architect
Registered Planner
N.C.A.R.B. Certificate

View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3655
AR 256
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Building Systems

Jeffrey Staats

Jeffrey
Staats
AIA, AICP
Professor of Architecture

B.Arch. Boston Architectural Center
M.C.P., Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Registered Architect
Registered Planner
N.C.A.R.B. Certificate

sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/staats_cv_2011.pdf
Contact Information
x3655
AR 256
Areas of Expertise: 
Architecture/Building Systems