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DREAM Collaborative: Year In Review & Looking Ahead to 2024

As we reflect on 2023 and celebrate our 15th anniversary, DREAM is continuously grateful for what we have been able to accomplish as a firm. What we achieve is only possible with the support of our clients, partners, team, and communities and we look forward to continued collaboration in 2024. Our impacts in architecture, planning and development provide many opportunities for us to fulfill our mission to create beautiful, authentic places that enable better outcomes for all stakeholders through inclusive design practices. 

Winthrop Center by Bruce T. Martin Photography

DREAM saw a number of projects throughout Massachusetts through completion this year. Leveraging our expertise in affordable housing, our Urban Design & Planning practice has been involved with advancing housing policy and zoning throughout the State on projects such as: Mattapan ADU Test Fits, City of Fitchburg 3A Zoning Compliance & Technical Assistance, and Boston Regional Post-Disaster Housing Policies with Tetra Tech. Supporting MP Boston and Handel Architects, DREAM was involved from the onset of Winthrop Center in 2020. This summer, the team celebrated the tower’s completed construction and its official designation as the World’s Largest Passive House Office in the World.

The Kenzi construction progress

Come 2024, DREAM foresees the completion of a number of additional projects. Two Passive House affordable housing projects for our client Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), will be completed in the Spring. This includes The Kenzi, Boston’s first emergency back-up power over 4-stories, and LeClair Village, which will increase Mashpee’s affordable housing stock by 11%. Our First Church Roxbury project and Foundry at Drydock with SGA, which has been designed to the City’s future Net Zero Carbon standards, will also be completed this year. DREAM is committed to building healthy communities, and will also be implemented through our planning work across New England focusing on resilience, safety action plans and holistic master plans.

DREAM Development is making major advancements as we continue construction on our 2147 Washington Street project with our co-developer New Atlantic Development and prepare for groundbreaking at 24 Westminster Avenue in Roxbury. Our team is excited about these opportunities to deliver high-impact work that goes beyond square footage, investing time and attention to designing healthy, sustainable, and catalytic spaces that are built for longevity and growth. We look forward to continue our development without displacement initiatives in the new year, focusing on supporting Gateway Cities and transforming underutilized spaces.

DREAM has had the opportunity to share about the innovation of our approach and project work at a number of conferences, symposiums and summits across the country with a focus on our commitment to inclusive, equitable and sustainable design.

Most notably, our team presented at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2023 in San Francisco alongside our client, POAH. DREAM and POAH passionately shared how we achieved approving and building Boston’s first emergency back-up power over 4-stories and why it is important that this milestone occurred for affordable housing in Roxbury. The Kenzi was also a prime talking point for DREAM and POAH at NESEA BuildingEnergy Boston as well as for DREAM and Petersen Engineering at the Passive House Massachusetts Symposium. Our team was also able to present on transformative project work at the 2023 Metro Boston Post-Disaster Housing Summit and at the SCUP 2023 North Atlantic Conference. Our Principals also connected to the industry to share our unique perspectives and initiatives in design and development at the Developer’s of Color Summit and AIA Connecticut Architecture Conference and Expo.

Through our Community Care program, DREAM fosters ways to give back to our communities. This year, we focused on engaging local youth to introduce Boston teens to opportunities in architecture and planning as well as support the design profession pipeline. We did so through the YMCA’s Teen Career Development program to speak and lead hands-on exercises. DREAM also participated in the Sasaki SEED program to inspire the next generation of problem-solvers to create a world for the greater good, our team led an engaging tour where we shared sustainability and justice-seeking strategies.
With a recent study showing that 1 in 3 households in Massachusetts have faced hunger within the past year, team members volunteered at Rosie’s Place to prep and serve dinner to their guests. DREAM encourages volunteering and donating with local organizations when possible. Supporting our communities is engrained in our ethos and is essential to the overall mission of the firm.

All of our achievements are made possible by our team of diverse and thoughtful problem-solvers. DREAM is able to create authentic and impactful spaces because of the care our team has for our clients and communities. We would like to give recognition to the members of our architectural team that have received their MA architectural licenses: Carley Elliot, David Franck, Samantha Marihart, and Michael Paganetti. DREAM would also like to welcome and thank our newest team members that joined in 2023, including: Emmy Chen, Joseph Karanja, Jana Kurs, Sanchita Pawar, Jeremy Toal, and Meg Trant. Visit our Team page to learn more about our team members and why they choose to work at DREAM.