Jul. 15th Charlestown Mixed-Income Housing Project

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Studio Luz is proud to announce that it is on a team of five architecture firms that is taking on the challenge of redeveloping a 24-acre site in Boston’s historic neighborhood of Charlestown. The team includes developers Corcoran Jennison, and SunCalStantec oversees the urban design, master planning and four consulting architectural firms: DiMella ShafferDREAM CollaborativeMarshall Moya Design and Studio Luz Architects. This type of collaboration is certainly unusual — these types of projects are usually awarded to one large planning and design firm. By bringing together a group of architects with different design outlooks, Corcoran Jennison, SunCal, and Stantec have seized the opportunity to create a design think tank of sorts for the master plan of this project. The project is currently in the permitting process and is undergoing a Boston Redevelopment Authority Design Review. This is a phased-out project—Phase 1 Design begins January of 2017 and construction commences in the fall of 2017. Below you will get a glimpse of our design process.

 

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Situated in Bunker Hill, the site is currently home to Boston Housing Authority’s largest public housing development. This development will be replaced with a mixed-income residential building that will include new housing, new and redeveloped parks, outdoor space, new retail and community spaces.

StudioLuz_B08-and-E09-renderThe goals of the collaboration are to meet the development needs for the project, design buildings that respond to one another, respect the historic character of Charlestown, and develop and design in response to the needs of residents currently living in the housing development. To understand residents’ need and anticipation of the project, the team participated in community meetings where residents were able to speak openly about what they valued in their neighborhood and what resources their neighborhood still needed. Some of the most important values that emerged included: public parks, proportions and materials of buildings, modern aesthetics that relate to the existing neighborhood, shops, commercial space for new businesses, access to various basic resources, as well as stoops and plazas for different scales of social interaction.

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At the beginning of the designing process, Studio Luz conducted a study of the seven of the blocks within the site to brainstorm different approaches to integrating outdoor space, incorporating the characteristics of existing buildings in the neighborhood, and using materials and façade systems innovatively. Additionally, all teams worked with a kit of parts that established the range of materials and fenestration and with pre-established plans and heights of buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun. 11th New Home Construction in Jamaica Plain

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Studio Luz Architects has been very busy this year with the design and on going construction of two residences located  in Boston’s dynamic Jamaica Plain neighborhood. We recently scouted one of our projects with our photographer, John Horner and we wanted to give you a glimpse of a modest and modern 1,180 square feet new residential unit attached to an existing single family residence. The project’s design was reviewed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and a relief was granted from the Zoning Board of Appeals. 

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Working closely with our clients to meet their sustainable goals of a fossil fuel free home, the home utilizes photovoltaic solar and wind source electric services. It incorporates energy recovery ventilation and Energy Star equipment, lighting and appliances. The photo reveals a rain barrel integrated with a downspout to collect water runoff for outdoor irrigation purposes. Other sustainable features includes the use of a rain-screen system with fiber-cement panel siding.  The detailing used a water and vapor barrier that is UV stabilized to allow for open joints within the facade. The panels differentiate from the cladding system used in the historic residence and create a blend with the clapboard siding through accent panels. With the mindset of ‘think locally,’ Studio Luz Architects brought in Al Dor Corporation as the builder and fabricator, Trimount Ironworks from Dorchester to build custom pieces around the home such as the fabrication of the deck railing as seen on the above image.

Plans copyThe residential unit consists of an open floor plan layout on the first floor where social activities occur such as the preparation of food and living area. Theses spaces are located at the rear side of the house facing the garden. The more private spaces are on the second floor which consists of a master bedroom with ample closet space, a second bedroom to be used as an office or sleeping area and a full bathroom.

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Sep. 21st E+ Green Building Housing

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THIS PROPOSAL SEEKS TO OBTAIN LEED PLATINUM, HERS INDEX: -9

Studio Luz Architect’s proposal for Mayor Menino’s Energy Positive E+ Green Building Demonstration Program is on exhibit at the Boston Architectural College’s McCormick Gallery through September 25. Studio Luz Architects partnered with Urbanica Design + Development for the 64 Catherine Street site in Jamaica Plain, Boston. The design competition was held by the City of Boston on city-own property to promote the next generation of high performance deep green building prototypes in Boston.

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It is imperative to create homes that are in harmony with the environment in which they operate. To achieve this requires not only a radical shift in the design of buildings but an encouragement of new living patterns and sensitivity to economical viability.

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Our proposal introduces the townhouse type to the Jamaica Plain Woodbourne neighborhood, contributing to the diversity of homes in the area while remaining respectful of the existing neighborhood character. The building consists of two typical units, approximately 1,500 sf each, sharing a mirror twin relationship with the central party wall. Variations in proportion and scale are developed as a response to the unique triangular site configuration. We see this as a soft prototype, where the spatial layout and systems of a basic unit can be adapted to fit the specific demands of the site, its context and particular climate.

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