We were thrilled and honored to be asked by NOAH (Neighborhood of Affordable Housing) to join their team to develop a proposal for artists’ housing and studios on Condor Street in East Boston. The development of these parcels will not only add much needed housing and art resources to the neighborhood, but will give a boost to the revitalization of the Chelsea Creek corridor and the back of Eagle Hill.
Our team was one of three proposals presented at the High School on Wednesday night. The NOAH, East Boston CDC, Joy Street Design team is the only team local to East Boston. The two community development groups have an impressive track record of fighting for and building towards the future of the neighborhood. It is great to see them working together here.
Our vision for the site is based on five basic design ideas:
Art will be highlighted throughout the site – in large studio windows, sculpture gardens, mural walls, and artist designed elements.
RESPECT AND ENHANCE THE NEIGHBORHOOD
We studied many different schemes and believe we have hit the “sweet spot” of density where it is big enough to create activity on the street, but it’s not so large that it overwhelms the surrounding houses.
The building massing is broken up into smaller elements that are in scale with neighborhood buildings.
The elements of the building create a rhythm along the street and make useable exterior spaces.
WELCOME THE EAST BOSTON COMMUNITY
This is not meant to be just an insular community of artists working alone. It is a place where art can be made, shared, and celebrated by the artists and the community.
The project will create opportunities for neighbors to participate in classes, exhibitions, and art creation.
Workbar, Gallery, Community Garden, and Shared Studios.
BUILD AN INTERNAL COMMUNITY
Create spaces where residents and artists can meet and work together.
The main core of the project is a roof garden “street” where residents and artists enter their studios and units, sit on patios or decks, work in their gardens, and display art.
BUILD FOR THE 21st CENTURY
Use materials, forms, and technologies that are contemporary, innovative, and durable.
Although the buildings are located near a historic district, they should express their modernity and their unique purpose.
Be responsible stewards of the environment by using green building technologies and reducing the energy and water use of the project.
Aiming for LEED Gold for Homes.
Be forward looking with regards to climate change. Work with the neighborhood and city to ensure that this project is part of the solution.
Boston DND is now reviewing the three proposals and is expected to designate a developer by the end of 2017. We are anxiously waiting to hear their decision, but regardless of the outcome are proud to have been a part of this process for imagining the future of our neighborhood.