Boston Complete Streets wins APA National Planning Award
Utile is honored to receive the American Planning Association’s 2015 National Planning Excellence Award for a Communications Initiative, for its collaboration with the Boston Transportation Department and Toole Design Group on the Boston Complete Streets Design Guidelines. This 270-page illustrated manual communicates Boston’s Complete Streets policies and technical content, and graphically depicts design interventions in an easy-to-understand format.
“This award validates our efforts to create a public face for Boston’s efforts to improve the quality of its urban streets,” said Utile’s Siqi Zhu, who served as Project Designer. “The impact of the Guidelines can only grow as it reaches more people.”
This APA Planning Excellence Award honors efforts to “tell the planning story” and increase awareness and understanding about the planning profession.
Michael LeBlanc on parametric thinking at MassArt’s lecture series
Utile Principal Michael LeBlanc spoke with students of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design as part of their Tuesday Talks lecture series this week on the topic of Parametric Thinking: Design Strategies for Market-Based Projects. His lecture focused on identifying the market-driven parameters and constraints inherent in profit driven projects and their successful conversion into meaningful design opportunities. These issues were analyzed through the careful evaluation of the Utile’s 248 Dorchester Avenue multifamily housing project which is currently in the early phases of design.
Utile receives Out-of-the-Box Award for Boston Living with Water Competition
Utile’s Boston Living with Water team is excited to receive the single “Out-of-the-Box” award for our High Street City; (Gradually) Living with Water entry. The competition, launched by the City of Boston, Boston Harbor Association, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Boston Society of Architects, called upon the international design community for solutions envisioning a more resilient, more sustainable, and more beautiful Boston adapted for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.
Our team’s entry focused on the 100 Acres section of Fort Point Channel District, representative of the large urban mixed-use redevelopment opportunities across Boston. Our phased approach involves two ground planes, changing in function in response to ongoing development and rising sea levels. You can read our full proposal here.
Thanks to our Living with Water team:
“After Empirical Urbanism” Symposium at University of Toronto
Tim Love, AIA, Associate Professor at Northeastern University and Principal of Utile, is joining a panel at After Empirical Urbanism, a symposium at University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. In “Leveraging the Marketplace”, Tim contributes to the panel a discussion of recent Utile projects including parking garage concepts developed for the Long Island Index and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, a master plan for the Hull, Massachusetts waterfront, and a new rowhouse district in Hartford, Connecticut. The symposium is scheduled for February 27th and 28th, 2015.
Ongoing planning for Boston City Hall Plaza’s revitalization
Kindra Cooper covers the ongoing planning for Boston City Hall Plaza’s revitalization in The Architect’s Newspaper, including a mention of Utile and Reed Hilderbrand’s study for the plaza’s redesign. You can read the full article here.
Photos of Utile’s new office
Photographer Gustav Hoiland braved the cold to shoot Utile’s new space at 115 Kingston Street in Downtown Boston. Here are a few of our favorite photos.
Construction begins at 600 Harrison Avenue
Utile’s latest project with New Atlantic Development, 600 Harrison Avenue, is now under construction. The 240,000 square foot, mixed-use complex in Boston’s South End will house 160 apartments with multiple amenities and 3,600 square feet of ground floor retail space. Construction will be complete in 2016.
Green Building & Design Magazine: Utile’s “Big Idea” and project spotlight
In the January-February 2015 “Ideas Issue” of Green Building & Design, seven industry professionals present their visions in response to a challenging question: What is one big idea in urban design that hasn’t yet gained traction? Utile Principal Tim Love offers his idea for a larger focus on Back-of-House Design, which you can read about here.
This issue of gb&d – a publication that covers green building and design across industries – also profiles the net zero energy Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion in its Spotlight Play section.
Somerville Zoning Overhaul draft released
Utile is assisting the City of Somerville in the final stages of its Zoning Overhaul, which is timed appropriately considering recent planning and anticipated growth for the City. The new zoning code serves to guide future development, incorporating the concerns and suggestions of Somerville residents. Utile worked closely with the City of Somerville to present the zoning code in clear language and engaging graphics in an effort to improve the user’s experience navigating the code.
The Boston Conservatory Studio Building featured in College Planning & Management
The Boston Conservatory Studio Building is featured in College Planning & Management’s January 2015 issue. The article highlights the unique challenges encountered by the design team of Handel Architects and Utile, and their inspired solutions for a state-of-the-art studio building.