Town of WINCHESTER Civic Hub

In June and July we enjoyed thinking about a new vision for the Town of Winchester's center, as part of a multi-firm study to reinvent Shore Road. Our proposal expands and activates the existing rotary to include a public plaza with a canopy under the MBTA commuter rail tracks to create a new pedestrian hub serving daily and seasonal activities. Click photos above to enlarge, and view a PDF of the presentation HERE

Lawrence Alleyway Ribbon Cutting

This is a space a lot of people thought would never change... It can be a catalyst to help change all the things that are wrong in the city of Lawrence.
— Mayor Daniel Rivera

We are pleased to announce the City of Lawrence unveiled Lawrence Alleyway, a connector between the Northern Essex Community College campus and downtown, located between Amesbury and Hampshire streets. The design, which was inspired from Utile's Downtown West Study for the City of Lawrence, seeks primarily to improve pedestrian connectivity into and around Northern Essex Community College’s El-Hefni Allied Health and Technology Center, while also enhancing storm water drainage and parking. The seating, lighting, and strong graphic language of the ground plane and wall murals (by Elevated Thought), re-claim the alley as a safe and primary connector between the College and Essex Street.

Read the Mayor's Ribbon Cutting Advisory HERE and check out the article in the Eagle-Tribune HERE. Click to enlarge images below. 


Sometimes more really is better – especially when it comes to office space! We’re doubling our office space by adding the 2nd floor to our current square footage on the 5th floor.  More space to work, to host our clients and collaborators, and more climbing of stairs for us too.  Stay tuned as we move in and make it our own.

The Outdoor PLAYbook features Boston Schoolyard Initiative

Check out the press release for the Outdoor PLAYbook website launch, which features the Boston Schoolyard Initiative as an inspirational project! The website features inspirational projects and creates a guidebook for best practices for designing school grounds to encourage play areas and learning environments.The collaborative team of researchers and students came together with the following goal: 

To inspire the creation of dynamic outdoor public spaces that promote health and educational experiences, particularly for children and youth, and improve the social and ecological well being of communities
— The Outdoor PLAYbook team

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative project page exemplifies the "gray to green" category of transforming parking lots and underutilized open spaces into thriving and educational play areas.  More information about the Boston Schoolyard Initiative can be found HERE

Central Square Construction

Construction on Bertulli Park in Central Square, East Boston is underway!  With the foundation poured and the formwork for the backup wall going up, the form of the elliptical granite wall has begun to emerge. Click to enlarge photos below.

More information and design drawings about Central Square can be found HERE


"Living and Learning" - UVA Alumni Exhibition

We're thrilled to announce our design for Suffolk University's Roemer Plaza is featured as part of UVA's School of Architecture Alumni Exhibit, "Living-Learning Environments. Twenty first century speculations on the academic village."

In the 1960s and 1970s, American college campuses—like American suburbs—grew quickly, through dispersed spatial patterns and in the form of single-function zones. Today, students, faculty, staff and alumni want their campuses to provide community as well as a place to educate and be educated. Campus buildings and landscapes should be attractors, spatial invitations to linger, to dream, to gather, to converse, to discuss and debate. They should afford urbanity—the effects of mixed uses, walkable campuses, places that inspire individual and collective discovery, compelling public spaces, ecologically-performative campus landscapes—regardless of the university’s location in a city, a suburb or small town. This exhibition highlights the diverse ways 51 UVA School of Architecture alumni are contributing to and changing the conversation about the programming, planning and design of living-learning environments in higher education. Reimagining and reinterpreting the concepts of our Academical Village for a twenty-first century university.
— Beth Meyer, Dean, University of Virginia, School of Architecture

The exhibit will be displayed from May 13th - August 19th in Campbell Hall, Charlottesville, VA. More information on the exhibit can be found HERE



Spring planting is happening at Fisher Hill Reservoir Park in Brookline! Plugs of a wide mix of perennial grasses and flowering plants are being planted in the wet meadow and the bioswale which edges the parking lot. And, we’re seeing the results of fall planting : a walk around the woodland path reveals early blooming Amelanchier (shad bush) drifting along the back side of the embankment. Furnishings are also being installed on the Promenade.

More information about the project can be found HERE.


Read Kaki’s letter in the Spring 2016 issue of ArchitectureBoston written in response to two articles in the “Well” issue (Winter 2015) HERE (and excerpted below).

"Our firm is fortunate enough to be supporting Brigham and Women's Hospital, under the leadership of its president, Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, in achieving these goals of connecting the inside back to the outside — harkening back to a time when the direct connection to Olmsted's Riverway supported the healing processes at the hospital. We're creating landscape spaces in every nook, cranny, and rooftop we can find. All of these landscape inser­tions strengthen the hospital's connection to nature and its supportive healing capacities but also integrate into the city's forest network. Let us once again think of our urban forest as a critical part of our urban spatial network as well as our city's healthcare network. A beautiful Boston will also be a healthier Boston."

More information on the Brigham and Women's Hospital Masterplan and 45 Francis Street Entry
View a full list of our publications HERE


Kaki joined colleagues John Schmid from Nitsch Engineering and Shaun O’Rourke from The Trust for Public Land for a great afternoon with students from Professor Paul Kirshen’s (School for the Environment, UMass Boston) and Ben Peterson’s BAC architecture studio to talk about Resilient Infrastructure through our various lenses. Great collaboration and great questions + discussion made for an engaging afternoon for all!

Roemer Plaza Completion

We are thrilled to announce the completion of the Roemer Plaza at 20 Somerset. Check out nbbj's article about Suffolk University's new academic building at 20 Somerset, which features the Roemer Plaza. 

More information about the Roemer Plaza can be found here

The Steel Yard: ASLA Featured Case Study

Check out ASLA's website, which features the Steel Yard as a sustainable landscape case study and download a factsheet PDF here

"Olneyville, one of Providence’s oldest and poorest neighborhoods, has many abandoned industrial buildings. When Olneyville’s Providence Steel and Iron went out of business in 2001, the property was purchased by a new non-profit called The Steel Yard. The new owners believed that rather than demolishing the existing structures, the property could be repurposed as a community space for local artists."

More information on the Steel Yard

I’m a crow by nature - Ken Smith

 Photo: George Bouret

Photo: George Bouret

Mark was asked by Architecture Boston to write about Ken Smith's temporary installation at the Gardener Museum this summer. His piece was featured in the fall issue of AB. Below is a snippet of text, to read the whole article, click here.

Since 1053 the Amida Buddha serenely looks out over a segment of the Uji River in Japan. Fifty-two bodhisattvas accompany the Buddha, floating at varying heights around the enclosure of the Byodoin Temple. Ken Smith, the landscape architect who created Fenway Deity, cites this icon of Japanese architecture and its sacred inhabitants as the inspiration for his summer installation on the façade of the Gardner Museum.

Kaki Speaks at ABX

ABX 2015 – A great group of architects and allied professionals attended ‘Investing in the Visitor Experience – Increasing the Value of Public Space for Patients, Family and Staff,’ a talk given by Kaki and David Hanitchak of NBBJ about our collective team efforts (with Cloud Gehshan Associates, Bruner Cott, and CAMA, Inc.) at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Go team BWH!

Fall Color At Fisher Hill

Fisher Hill Reservoir Park is really starting to take shape.  Below are a series of photos from construction over the past month while the foliage was really popping.

For more information on the Fisher Hill, see our project page.

Brigham and Women's Hospital- Construction

Construction is abuzz around the BWH campus . Our project, continuing the master planning effort at the 45 Francis entry is well underway, and nearing completion! Click the images below to expand them and see more info.

More information about the master planning process at the hospital here:
Brigham and Women's Master Plan

More information about the 45 Francis Street Entry can be found HERE.

Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary Named Green Building of the Year

Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary was awarded Green Building of the Year by the US Green Building Council - Massachusetts. 

The award was judged on the following criteria:
·         Meeting the Challenges of the Project
·         Effective Collaboration/Communication Management
·         Innovation in Construction Techniques, Tools or Materials
·         Distinction in Client Service
·         Sensitivity to the Environment and Community

A big congrats to the team! 

For more information visit:
Summer Star's Website
Our Project Page
The Architect's Page

Cambridge Citywide Planning

We’re thrilled to be a part of the dynamic team that Utile pulled together for this project. The Cantabridgians in the office are particularly excited about getting started!

Cambridge, MA—Aug. 21 2015 — Today, Cambridge Officials announced that an interdisciplinary team led by Utile Architecture + Planning (Utile) has been selected for the Cambridge citywide planning project. “The City is looking forward to embarking on this important citywide process with Utile,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “This multiyear effort is a major investment that the City is making in the future of our community. Residents, business employers and employees, property owners and developers, institutions, non-profit organizations, and many other stakeholders will be active participants in this process and a key component to ensuring that the citywide plan reflects the values of our community. I want to thank the other highly qualified and respected firms that participated in our selection process.”


There has been a lot of progress at Fisher Hill this summer.  Planting is in full force, and the site work including grading and concrete is coming along nicely.

At Roemer Plaza, planting has been completed, concrete work is nearing completion and paving is well under-way.

Click to expand the images and for additional info.