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.
Ramp parcel design to improve the Greenway
Working with MassDOT and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Utile and HDR Engineering designed concepts for the ramp parcels sited above the Central Artery on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. Responding to concerns arising from public meetings, the parcels will be dedicated to operative open space while addressing connectivity, aesthetic, and use challenges. Utile’s concepts are designed to combine these elevated pedestrian walkways with new landscaping, visual screening, and gathering spaces, while reducing roadway crossings, improving wayfinding, and increasing safety. Read about BostInno’s coverage of the study here.
Existing Parcel 6 Ramp:
Proposed Concept for Parcel 6 Ramp:
Chronicle covers “Boston’s best new building” finalists
Utile is honored that our Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion is a finalist for the Boston Society of Architects 2014 Harleston Parker Medal, which celebrates “the single most beautiful building or other structure built in metropolitan Boston in the past 10 years”. Utile, along with four other nominees, are featured on the January 6, 2015 episode of Chronicle, “Building Beauty”, at 7:30pm on WCVB, which highlights the award program.
Utile collaborates on Greenovate Boston’s Climate Action Plan
Greenovate Boston challenges Bostonians to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a greener, healthier, and more prosperous city. Utile worked collaboratively with one[visual]mind and the City of Boston to develop the following concept illustrations for the 2014 Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan.
The Large Buildings and Institutions graphic depicts plan elements such as LEED certifiable construction, energy reporting, and green skills training.
The Transportation graphic depicts plan elements such as Boston Complete Streets, bike commuting, and raising the fuel economy.
The Neighborhoods graphic depicts plan elements such as residential heating, recycling programs, and park systems.
Proposed Beacon Yards by Northeastern graduate studio
Principal Tim Love, a tenured Associate Professor at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture, worked with his Master’s Research Studio graduate students to develop Beacon Yards: DeNovo Urbanism, a proposed master plan for the reuse of a 60-acre former rail yard in Boston’s Allston neighborhood. The plan envisions a mixed-use district centered around transportation and connectivity, utilizing land owned by MassDOT, Harvard University, and Boston University.
Utile’s work with MCCA on a future use typology featured in UrbanLand
As part of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) Expansion, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is designing its new garages as universal structures to accommodate a future decrease in demand for parking and increase in demand for office, retail, hotel, entertainment, and other uses. “Universal Structures as Long-Term Sustainable Assets” in UrbanLand’s November/December 2014 issue profiles how this public institution is working closely with Utile for an economical and sustainable design solution. The piece was written by Professor William P. Macht of the Center for Real Estate at Portland State University.
Matthew Littell visits BC High’s young urban planners
Utile Principal Matthew Littell was a guest speaker at BC High last week as part of the 7th Grade City Project, where students are completing a year-long urban planning exercise in the creation of their own city. Matthew lectured on Smart Growth principles and spoke about his career in architecture and urban planning. Post-lecture, Matthew visited classes and consulted with the students on their City Projects.
Demolition begins at The Commons at Forest Hills Station
Demolition is now underway at The Commons at Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain, a 283-apartment mixed-use development designed by Utile. The project is conveniently located a short distance from its namesake Orange Line transit stop and will provide a mix of unit types, ground-floor retail, and parking. Read more about developer Forest Hills Arborway, LLC’s plans in the Boston Business Journal.
Flexible Parking Structures in UrbanLand
In Flexible Parking Structures as Civic Catalysts, a recent article from The Urban Land Institute’s UrbanLand Magazine, Professor William P. Macht of Portland State University in Oregon’s Center for Real Estate explores Utile’s flexible parking structure concept designed to accommodate a variety of programs during off-peak hours, as well as future alternative uses. Utile’s “Civic Arches” were proposed in response to a design competition hosted by the Long Island Index, a nonprofit organization.