Utile is thrilled to welcome to the team Jessica Robertson, our newest senior planner. Jessica says, “My background is in planning and policy, so I’m excited to immerse myself more fully in the design perspective, and contribute my experience in transportation to Utile’s pool of expertise”. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Brown University, Jessica’s many professional accomplishments include coordinating the regional launch and expansion of Hubway, spearheading the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s parking practice, and co-founding CommonWheels Bike Co-Op, a nonprofit based in Allston, MA.
Utile welcomes Jessica Robertson
Our newest team member: Ingrid Bengtson
Ingrid Bengtson has joined Utile after receiving her Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. “Most of my work is tied together by an interest in the interplay between necessity and excess. In school this manifested itself in my focus on energy systems, light structures, and alternative temporalities,” Ingrid says. “My thesis explored these topics as a means to create a new paradigm for designing large-scale civic spaces.” She previously held several architectural internships at various firms, notably at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris. We are excited to welcome her to the firm!
New photos of 26 West Broadway in South Boston
Groundbreaking ceremony at the JP Branch of the Boston Public Library
Utile recently celebrated the groundbreaking for the addition and renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library, an ongoing project with the Boston Public Facilities Department and the Boston Public Library. The 2,500 square feet of new construction includes a reading room facing South Street to engage the community, while the existing 1911 building undergoes updates to its program, accessibility, and energy systems. John Hailer, interim chairman of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees, says “this neighborhood has changed dramatically, and now this library will transform with the neighborhood.” The library is scheduled to reopen by the summer of 2017.
Charlotte Lipschitz joins Utile
Charlotte is the newest member of our team! She will work on both architectural and urban design projects, given her ability to think and design across a wide range of scales. She received a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in May and has a degree in Economics and Public Policy from Brown University. Charlotte believes “that design can actually generate productive and place-specific development so that people and institutions have something real to grab onto and call their own”. Welcome, Charlotte!
Construction progress at Metromark Apartments in Jamaica Plain
Construction is underway at Metromark Apartments in Jamaica Plain, a 283-unit mixed-use development for The Brennan Group and John M. Corcoran Company, with wood framing nearing completion at Building A (pictured above). The concrete and steel podium construction is in progress at Building B, above which wood framing will begin in the upcoming weeks.
As a moderate market rate project, Metromark is the only one of its kind in the City. The project not only leverages the proximity of public transportation, but will become an anchor in an area previously without sidewalk activation or a clear sense of place. With the recent removal of the Casey overpass, the project provides the critical “stepping stone” to restoring continuity along Washington Street.
The development team is targeting initial occupancy beginning in summer 2016 and final completion in early spring 2017. Metromark features ground level retail, extensive roof decks, and amenity spaces, and is conveniently located adjacent to the Forest Hills MBTA station as well as some of Boston’s largest green spaces.
Utile welcomes Sara Al-Otaibi!
Say hello to Sara, Utile’s newest architectural and interior designer. Born in Virginia and raised in Bahrain, Sara received her Master of Architecture with distinction and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a Minor in Art and Design from Northeastern University. She will be involved in all phases of interior architecture projects, from concept to full execution, and completing extensive product research on finishes, lighting, and furniture. Sara says, “I truly believe my surroundings to be the ultimate classroom, and enjoy solving real-world problems using design as a tool to innovate new interactions with our environments and one another.” We are thrilled to put her design talents and sensibilities to work!
The Architect’s Newspaper Studio Visit with Utile
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.
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.