Utile is pleased to introduce our summer interns and six-month co-ops, who have been staffed on various projects throughout the office. From top left, clockwise: Ben Garbow, architecture major, Northeastern University; Melanie Hashiguchi, architecture major, Northeastern University; LaRae Brison, M. Arch student (landscape), Boston Architectural College; Chad Miller, M. Arch (landscape and architecture) student, University of Virginia; Davae Gibson, architecture major, Northeastern University; Maura O’Neill, psychology and philosophy major, Boston College. Welcome, and thank you for your hard work!
Summer Interns and Co-ops
Tim Love goes to “Design Camp”
Tim Love was one of eight design leaders invited to Detroit to participate in the 7th Annual Enterprise Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute, held July 12th through 14th. “Design Camp” – the theme of this year’s Institute – gave six affordable housing development teams from across the country an opportunity to receive feedback on their conceptual design proposals. With three of the development teams based in Detroit, key staffers from the City of Detroit urban design and community housing departments were in attendance.
Tim was impressed with the breadth of the discussions, which focused on the intersection of development economics, community politics, landscape architecture, and the social implications of design decisions. He strongly recommends the program to affordable housing developers that haven’t yet participated.
Utile and TND celebrate ribbon cutting at One Beach in Revere
Utile and The Neighborhood Developers recently celebrated the ribbon cutting for One Beach, an affordable over-55 rental housing development in Revere, Massachusetts. Located within walking distance to downtown, several MBTA bus lines, and the Revere Senior Center, One Beach provides its residents with several communal amenity spaces as well as enhanced accessibility throughout the building. Mayor Brian Arrigo says of the development, “This new project provides an opportunity for seniors to enjoy safe, secure housing in a brand new facility. We gladly welcome One Beach to our community.” You can read The Boston Globe’s coverage of the event here.
Joshua Simoneau enters Northern Avenue Bridge ideas competition
The City of Boston and the Boston Society of Architects have announced the winners of its Northern Avenue Bridge Ideas Competition. While not among the selected entries, Utile architect and urban planner Joshua Simoneau and Northeastern University Adjunct Professor Michael Grogan’s proposal “Channel Some Fun!” gives space to the imagination and considers how play might disrupt and juxtapose layers of public life in order to facilitate social interaction.
When asked about his design inspiration, Josh says, “There seems to be a remarkable similarity among many of the public spaces designed today, from the materials used to the programmatic arrangements, often resulting in corporate landscapes that are nothing more than normalized spaces for consumption. This vision for the Northern Avenue Bridge, however, is a refreshing reminder that public spaces can be different, better, and most of all, fun! While the concept of play may seem like frivolous response, it can be a great equalizer when it comes to the public realm; addressing concepts of civic pride and social justice, not to mention beauty and happiness. Most of all, Channel Some Fun! creates a stage for public life where people not only feel like they are part of the city, but that the city is part of them.”
Utile is proud of the thoughtful concept and engaging design submitted by Josh and Michael for this competition, and we hope to see their ideas incorporated into future planning for the Northern Avenue Bridge.
A New Brick Façade for the JP Library
Masonry work continues at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library with the installation of brick and limestone on the exterior façade. This photo shows the contemporary spin on traditional Boston brick, a small part of how the branch library is being reinvented into a vital 21st Century institution.
Meet Joshua Simoneau, Kyle Belcher, and Paul Miller
Team Utile has expanded with the addition of three talented new hires– Joshua Simoneau, Kyle Belcher, and Paul Miller.
Josh comes to Utile with experience both as an architect and urban planner. Passionate about cities with a particular interest in public spaces, Josh currently serves as a member of the Rotch Traveling Scholarship Committee, having received the award in 2008. The year-long scholarship allowed him to travel to cities around Western Europe to study and document iconic public spaces, which he then related to Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Josh received an MSc in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.Arch from Syracuse University. He is currently working on a new streetscape and vision for the Town Center in Weston, MA and community events pavilion for the Governor Ames Estate in Easton, MA.
Kyle Belcher joins Utile as an architectural and urban designer. A graduate of the California College of the Arts and Harvard Graduate School Design with a Master of Architecture and Urban Design, Kyle has worked in San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston. Last year, he co-taught a multi-disciplinary seminar at RISD on the “African Institute of Healthcare Transformation,” which sent him to Kenya last summer with two of his students to oversee construction of a new facility at the Sagam Hospital and Clinic. At Utile, he is working on the SouthField Town Center, a mixed-used development of retail and 265 units of rental housing.
Paul Miller joins Utile as a designer and project architect. Previously, he worked at Pavette in Boston and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and SHoP Architects in New York City on large-scale residential, commercial and cultural projects. Paul earned the Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University where he was awarded the James Britton Memorial Prize for his thesis project. A contributing author to the Young Architects Forum, he is a licensed architect in New York State and a member of the Syracuse University Generation Orange Leadership Council. He is currently serving as Project Architect for a multi-family residential building in the South End neighborhood of Boston.
One Beach Under Construction
Utile is excited to be nearing completion on the construction of One Beach, a 39-unit affordable senior housing building in Revere, MA. The project, being undertaken by The Neighborhood Developers, will provide much needed rental housing for residents in the heart of downtown Revere. Units and common areas feature a broad range of enhanced accessibility features. A community living space, fitness area, and meeting room anchor the ground floor of the building along Broadway, while an outdoor courtyard and landscaping provide a welcome buffer from the bustle of the city. The building is located along several bus lines and within a short walk to Revere’s central business district. Its completion will be an excellent complement to the City’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the downtown area. Stay tuned for more updates!
Utile participates in Boston Design Week
This year’s Boston Design Week offers an exciting program of talks, films, tours, and other events covering a range of design topics throughout the city. Tickets have sold out for Utile’s presentation on the City Hall and Plaza master plan project, co-hosted with the City of Boston and the Boston Preservation Alliance. Click here to read more about “Form (Finally) Meets Function – Rethinking City Hall”, taking place on Tuesday April 5th at 6pm.
600 Harrison under construction
With the roof deck concrete poured, 600 Harrison Ave now rises to 70′ above the intersection with Malden St. in the South End. Construction commenced in January 2015, replacing the site of an existing parking lot that formerly housed a lumber yard with direct water access to the South Bay. The above-ground building structure is a stud bearing wall system, supplemented by steel members to accommodate variations in the building’s geometry. Below, two levels of parking sit atop 150 concrete piles, driven up to 120′ below the lowest slab to reach bedrock.
600 Harrison Ave will open at the end of this summer, providing new residential and retail amenities to the neighborhood.
On the road with Imagine Boston
“‘If we cannot afford it now, how are we going to afford it later?'”
This week, Imagine Boston and Utile went to Dorchester to gather feedback from residents as part of an ongoing discussion on how to address Boston’s staggering growth and high housing costs. According to John Fitzgerald, deputy director of Imagine Boston 2030, residents’ top priorities include affordable housing, better transportation, and better education. Read more about the community meeting in the Dorchester Reporter.