Smith Baker Center

Lowell, Massachusetts – The Smith Baker Center is an existing 23,500 sf historic building in downtown Lowell currently in hosting arts, entertainment, performance and other uses.  The Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA) is proposing to redevelop the building into a mixed-use community center to serve as a much needed amenity in the neighborhood and will celebrate local icons such as Jack Kerouac and foster partnerships with community leaders such as the University of Massachusetts to create innovative programming for the building. The Smith Baker Center was formally known as the First Congregation Church which opened in 1884. DREAM Collaborative was hired by CBA to lead the team that has evaluated the existing conditions of the building and will restore the exterior and most of the interior of the building with a new design on the ground floor that will serve local businesses and non-profits.

Client:  Coalition for a Better Acre

Service:  Architecture, Interior Architecture, Historic Preservation

Meet Us Here

DREAM Collaborative is proud to sponsor the upcoming Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation event, Evolving Dorchester, honoring Jeanne DuBois on Thursday, September 10, 2015. We hope to see you there!

Dorchester Bay EDC acts to build a strong, thriving, and diverse community in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhoods. They offer assistance in three broad categories: housing, economic development, and resident initiatives/community organizing.

Cultural Center


Dorchester, MA – The project involves the renovation and expansion of an existing 24,000 sf garage into a new 120,000 sf environmentally sustainable mixed-use building. 260 Washington Street will feature a unique mix of 50 one-bedroom residential units, innovative office and co-working space, event/performance space, a birthing and wellness center, 12,000 sf of retail, makers space, and plans for a 2-acre urban garden/food forest adjacent to the building. 260 Washington Street will stand as a model of responsible and contextual mixed-use development within a densely populated residential neighborhood. Located within a five-minute walk from the new Four Corners/Geneva MBTA station along the Fairmount/Indigo Corridor, and the building will also serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the Washington Street Corridor in Dorchester. DREAM Collaborative conducted a specialized feasibility study and due diligence services and is providing full architectural design and community engagement services. The project is designed for LEED Platinum certification.

Read more about the project here.

Client:  Third Sector New England and Sustainability Guild International

Services:  Feasibility Study, Architecture

Scope:  120,000 sf mixed-use office, residential, retail, and event/performance space


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