Smith Baker Center Study

Community members met on April 28, 2015 to discuss plans for the historic Smith Baker Center in Lowell.

DREAM Collaborative is currently working with the Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA), to perform a feasibility study on the Smith Baker Center in Lowell to bring this hidden gem back to life.

Congratulations to our client, CBA, on a successful community engagement event last week.

Read more about the community meeting here.

Events: MA Sustainability Conference

DREAM Collaborative presented at the Massachusetts Sustainable Communities & Campuses Conference on April 16, 2015 at Devens Common Center in Devens, MA.

The conference examined how communities and campuses are pursuing sustainability: green businesses, net zero energy, zero waste, community farms, miles of bikable/walkable routes, solar fields…. Click here to find out more about the event.

Learn more about our green building design services and see our porfolio of work.

WSHC – Medical Fitness Center

Roxbury, MA – 

DREAM Collaborative is excited to announce that it is providing architectural services to Whittier Street Health Center (WSHC) to design and administer the construction of their new 7,000 sf Medical Fitness Center. Together with Chapman Construction, DREAM is pioneering the design of a new fitness facility prototype that is filling a gap that traditional commercial gyms have been unable to fill.  Medical exercise is the seamless integration of healthcare services, wellness, and fitness programs to provide preventative and rehabilitative care. The new facility will be located in WSHC’s recently completed building along one of Boston’s busiest thoroughfares. It will be medically integrated, and create a vibrant and energetic environment where personal health and development flourish through the guidance of trained fitness professionals.

WSHC’s new home at 1290 Tremont Street was completed in 2012.

Whittier’s Medical Fitness Center will open in the summer of 2015. Programs will include physical fitness, yoga, fitness training, nutrition counseling and stress reduction sessions as well as individual and group sessions with a life coach to help establish and maintain self-management goals and techniques. The Center will be open to Whittier’s patients, employees, and members of the community.

Client:  Whittier Street Health Center

Services:  Interior Architecture

 

 

Thank you, Mayor Menino

November 4, 2014 –

Thank you, Mayor Tom Menino for your tireless service to all of the people of Boston, and in particular your commitment to the City’s communities of color. Since moving to Boston in 2004, I have had the opportunity to live and work in many of Boston’s diverse neighborhoods and benefit from Mayor Menino’s leadership both personally and professionally.

I first met Mayor Menino in the summer of 2008 at an awards event recognizing architectural designers who had participated in a community charrette to reimagine the future of Dudley Square in Roxbury. I was awarded one of the honors that day and had the privilege of spending 15 minutes with the man who created the opportunity that allowed me to share my architectural vision. I was impressed by his approachability and genuine interest in getting to know me. I had heard about the Mayor’s manner from others who had similar encounters with him, and now I had an opportunity to experience it first-hand.

A couple years before, I wandered into Dudley Square one Saturday morning after leaving Tropical Foods and felt that an immediate connection to the place. I believe that connection is one that Mayor Menino felt as well. That meeting with the Mayor was a launchpad for my career and soon after I started my own business, DREAM Collaborative, focused on invigorating urban communities through sustainable development and imaginative design.

The Mayor’s commitment predated mine of course, and spanned many decades of working tirelessly to bring about the renaissance that was hoped for by many in the community.

With construction cranes and new businesses rising in Dudley Square, I know I am not alone in my gratitude to Mayor Menino for his forward thinking and practical approach that was able to get things done against a tide of skepticism.

He has left us with a legacy we can build on for the future, to realize a vibrant 24/7 neighborhood brimming with activity, diversity, and economic opportunity for all. We look forward to a bright future for Dudley Square and all of Boston’s neighborhoods, and recognize the key role of the late Mayor Tom Menino played to make that future possible. Thank you.

Gregory O. Minott

Construction Update: Bromley-Heath

August 4, 2014 –

Envelope and façade repairs are well underway at the Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) Bromley-Heath Development in Jamaica Plain. Working on a fast track schedule, construction partner Northern Contracting Corporation (NCC) currently has 11 crews tackling mortar grinding, re-pointing, and lintel removal and abatement on three of the residential towers along Center Street. They are working their way expeditiously through the site towards the other 9 buildings.

Good communication is always a high priority for DREAM Collaborative. As project manager, I am onsite for weekly project meetings and walk-throughs to keep abreast of all activities and generate weekly reports in collaboration with WJE, our technical consultant. The BHA has an on-site representative who monitors the work daily and NCC has a host of tenant coordinators on site who keep tenants informed and foster cooperation through the construction process.

Project activities are proceeding smoothly and the team is on schedule to meet the November 2014 construction completion deadline.

Learn more about Bromley-Health and other great multifamily residential projects in our Portfolio.

Contributed by Troy Depeiza

National Architecture Week: April 6-12, 2014

The AIA’s National Architecture Week – a campaign designed to raise public awareness about architecture – is observed near the April 13th birthday of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United State and self-taught architect (among his many other accomplishments!). Read more about Jefferson and his primary residence and architectural masterpiece, Monticello, here. It’s a happy coincidence that we are launching our new web site just as National Architecture Week comes to an end.

 

Daylighting: Less Cost & More Productivity

Well-designed daylighting reduces energy costs and contributes to a significant increase in worker productivity.

Daylighting involves more than simply adding windows or skylights in order to allow light to enter an occupied space; good daylighting design must also take into consideration the possibility of undesirable side effects and preserve the occupant’s view by using integrated design strategies to balance occupant needs. These include balancing heat gain and loss, controlling glare, and addressing variations in the availability of daylight. Therefore, successful daylighting designs must include the use of shading devices to control heat loads and to reduce both glare and excessive contrast between lit and unlit spaces. In addition, designers must evaluate window spacing and size, glass selection, the reflectance of interior finishes, and the location of interior partitions.

Despite these accompanying design challenges, daylighting has the potential to significantly reduce operating costs, life-cycle costs, and emissions, and to increase occupants’ productivity and wellbeing. A study by Heschong Mahone, a research group, found that office workers performed better on tests of metal function and memory recall when they had a view versus those with no view. Reports of increased fatigue were most strongly associated with a lack of view.

Contributed by Troy Depeiza

Residential Design Trends: Line of Sight & Flexibility

Two of the most popular residential design trends are open first floor plans and blended indoor/outdoor living space. Both are driven by the desire for unobstructed line of sight and flexibility of uses.

The open plan has become one of the most popular must-haves for buyers searching for that perfect home. Its popularity is due to the desire for more flexible space that can be used for private living space during the week and entertainment space on the weekends. The appeal comes mostly from the host’s wish to be a part of the gathering while preparing and serving food. The open plan gives the host in the kitchen the opportunity to interact with their guests that are socializing in the living room or dining room. The open plan feature also is desirable for parents who need to be preparing dinner or performing daily chores while their children play. Line of sight and human interaction are the driving features behind an open plan making it a staple for today’s multitasking modern family lifestyle.

More flexible space that many homeowners look for are spaces between the interior of their home and the exterior elements. Decks, patios and porches have become increasingly popular for entertainment. Simple overhangs of a roof or extensions of a floor plate can extend the living space into the odors even on a less than perfect day. The threshold between outdoors and indoors can be easily bridged by using full height panes of glass and sliding doors. This residential trend is also driven by the line of sight; by offering visual and spatial continuity with the outdoors you increase the size of the space.

Older homes built in the early and mid-1900s were meant to hide the kitchen and all the behind the scenes action from the guests. Lifestyles were much different then and it was custom for the women or servants to be in the kitchen preparing while the men socialized separately. Today society as a whole has become more open. When you first walk into a home built in the early or mid-1900s you do not have many direct lines of site into other rooms, houses were more formal each room was more separate and had a specific function. Today people are looking for open layouts that allow for flexibility and open lines of site. Rooms no longer have walls separating them; they are now defined by décor, flooring, paint, and furniture.

Contributed by Brittany Carey

Biotech Design Trends: Existing Vacant Buildings

When it comes to increasing square footage, many biotechnology companies – both large and small – have chosen existing vacant buildings over new construction.

This trend has been strong for the past ten years in Massachusetts in particular, creating exciting opportunities for architects and engineers. Having provided architectural solutions for many life science clients myself – from small start-ups to industry leaders such as Genzyme, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and The Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA – has taught me that two critical elements are essential to success with this type of project:

Establish Feasibility First.

The primary challenge for the architect – to understand the client’s culture and product as they are today and design a space that supports current requirements, while also planning for future needs – is complicated by the need to fit the best solution for today and tomorrow into yesterday’s infrastructure with the least amount of augmentation possible. This becomes a key issue in evaluating the feasibility of the project.

Prioritize Collaboration.

Once feasibility has been established, an energetic and effective collaboration between client, design team, building owner, and local building authorities needs to begin in earnest. This will provide an atmosphere for issues to be voiced very early in the process, solutions to be agreed upon, and therefore pre-empts expensive and time-consuming delays later in the execution of the project.

Contributed by Troy Depeiza