Utile was a recent stop for The Architect’s Newspaper Studio Visit, a regular feature focused on emerging design firms. During the office tour, writer Christine Cipriani sat down with founding principal Tim Love to discuss the studio culture, the rich diversity of the projects, and the origins of the firm. Four project case studies were highlighted to demonstrate Utile’s range of interests and clients. The full article can be found here.
The Architect’s Newspaper Studio Visit with Utile
BostInno tours the Utile office!
Nick DeLuca of BostInno visited Utile’s office last week to speak with principal Matthew Littell, who discussed the office’s move last fall to Kingston Street. Nick’s piece highlighted the “Utile City” graphic in the office entryway, which imagines the firm’s recent planning and architecture projects scattered across a cityscape resembling Boston, a visual effect that Matthew noted “is almost like a SimCity video game meets Richard Scarry.”
Thoughts on Widett Circle planning for The Boston Globe
Tim Love urges future use planning for Boston’s Widett Circle in his opinion piece “Preserve Widett Circle’s industrial legacy” for The Boston Globe, in the wake of attention turned toward the district during the polarizing Boston 2024 Olympic bid process. An option for the area presented by Tim includes the development of a unique mixed-use district that utilizes its existing industrial character and transportation infrastructure. You can read the full article here.
Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion receives IAA 2015 honorable mention
Interactive visualization featured in Boston Globe
The interactive visualization work of Daniel Hartman – a student of Siqi Zhu‘s in the Information Design and Visualization MFA program at Northeastern University – was featured in The Boston Globe’s Business section on Sunday. Hartman’s research graphicizes the persistent housing and income disparities in Boston, highlighting in particular the lack of public transportation in the most poverty-stricken communities. “‘The system is set up for people traveling downtown,’ said Zhu, who is also an urban planner at the Boston firm Utile. ‘That’s a very white-collar conception of home-to-work.’”
Interactive visualization of information increasingly drives the analysis and storytelling underlying complex urban planning projects. Most recently, Utile led a similar effort to produce information graphics for the Go Boston 2030 plan, which helped to distill, clarify, and communicate to a wide public the complex mobility needs of Boston.
The full article can be found here.
Groundbreaking at VietAID’s Upper Washington in Dorchester
Utile helped celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of VietAID’s Upper Washington Development, featuring remarks from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as well as other elected officials, project financial supporters, and community stakeholders. The mixed-use project features 35 affordable units as well as 3,000 square feet of commercial space and community use space. Located in the Four Corners section of Dorchester, the project aims to strengthen revitalization efforts in the area by developing underutilized land into much needed family-style apartments and public amenities. The project is being built by Nauset Construction and is expected to be complete in May 2016.
Somerville Open Space Typologies
Working with the City of Somerville on its new Zoning Overhaul, Utile provided illustrative graphics that easily translate the code standards and make the ordinance clearer to read, understand, and ultimately ensure that it is more customer-friendly. Unique from most zoning codes, the City of Somerville is also regulating programmatic and design requirements for different types of open spaces. Utile has produced illustrative typologies that translate these requirements by producing caricatures of what such open spaces might look like, while still highlighting how program and design requirements might be incorporated.
Final piece installed at 22-26 West Broadway
The lobby stair was completed this week at Utile and Evergreen Property Group’s 22-26 West Broadway, marking the final piece of construction. The custom-designed stair, with white oak-clad treads and risers and a structural glass guardrail, connects the ground floor lobby to a larger shared library/lounge and outdoor courtyard on the second floor. The mixed-use building opened to its first residential tenants in May 2015 and is anticipating a summer opening for the ground floor restaurant.
Tactical Urbanism + The Lawn on D panel
Utile’s Elizabeth Christoforetti joins a panel co-hosted by the BSLA Emerging Professionals Committee and the BSA Emerging Professional Network on Thursday, June 11th to discuss Tactical Urbanism + The Lawn on D. Boston’s Lawn on D is a three-acre temporary landscape adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) that hosts events, concerts, art installations, lawn games, open-air bar, and its famous lighted oval swings. Designed as an interim park to test programming ideas for the future expansion of the BCEC, The Lawn on D shares traits with projects under the tactical urbanism heading – short-term, low-cost solutions to facilitate future urban planning and development.
Elizabeth practices architecture and urban design at Utile and served as project manager and urban designer during the BCEC urban design process. She joins Sara Cohen, Senior Associate, Landscape Architect for Sasaki Associates and Beth Torrey, Director of Strategic Programming for The Lawn on D to discuss the planning and visualization involved in the creation of The Lawn on D.
Town Hall Meeting for East Anaheim Street Corridor Study
Utile and RSAUD recently facilitated the second Town Hall Meeting for the East Anaheim Street Corridor Study in Long Beach, California. The one-mile-long corridor along Anaheim Street between Atlantic and Junipero Avenue is home to a rich range of businesses, including restaurants, retailers, and grocers, and is recognized as a center of the Cambodian community. The goal of this study is to enhance the identity of the corridor and help it achieve greater recognition as a regional destination through corridor-wide conceptual plans, best practices for storefront improvements, and design and signage guidelines for the district.