Dec. 22nd Season’s Greetings from Studio Luz Architects

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To our Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

As we close out 2020, we are writing with a sincere message of gratitude and optimism for 2021. This has been a year of many difficult circumstances and unprecedented situations. We are thankful that we were able to work with you through these challenges and accomplish many of the goals we set together. There is certainly much more work to be done as we strive to create work that exceeds expectations and continues to inspire.

Studio Luz is proud to have been part of a number of projects and initiatives this past year. We are actively working on affordable and environmentally responsible multi-family housing throughout Boston’s neighborhoods with TLee Development, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp. and Urbanica. All of which are striving to meet the City of Boston’s Carbon Zero initiative and the ambitious Passive House standards for energy performance. We also have an inspiring historical renovation and new residences rising in Bay Village with our long valued clients TCR Development and JB Ventures. Another project which is so very important personally, and to the community, is Sociedad Latina’s new building renovations on Mission Hill, finishing up in early 2021. Looking ahead to the spring, we are thrilled about our upcoming collaboration with Boston artist Marlon Forrester on the Dewitt playground renovations as a vital public space. This is all-important work for the communities our projects serve, and a true honor to be part of their well-deserved success!

We are also happy to be serving our professional and academic community, Anthony Piermarini is serving on the Boston Society of Architects Board. Hansy Better Barraza will be teaching a seminar on Women in Architecture and Urbanism at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in joint appointment between Architecture, Urban Design, and Planning. Centered to the studio’s mission on design accessibility and equity, the principals have co-authored an essay titled “Work to Do After” to be published in the Cornell Journal of Architecture. These many facets of our practice inform how we approach the discipline, and we are thankful to be engaged in these pursuits with each and every one of you.

All of this work is collaborative and cannot be achieved without support from our incredibly talented and tireless staff! Jeanine, Ivan, Jason, Damian, Iris, and Youngju, have contributed amazing things to this practice. This team works with rigor, intellect, respect, grace, and good-natured humor in all that they take on. Lastly, our collaboration with the various talented Clients, Contractors, Engineers, and Professional Consultants is greatly appreciated as we create more opportunities to work together. Architecture is a collaborative enterprise, touching so many aspects of the environment, the city, and people’s lives, it is only through strong teams that we realize our aspirations.

On behalf of Studio Luz Architects, may your holidays be bright and upcoming New Year be prosperous!

Sincerely,

Hansy Better Barraza, AIA LEED AP BD+C & Anthony Piermarini, AIA

Founding Principals 

Feb. 10th Reflections and News from Studio Luz!

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SLA-People

Studio Luz Project Team (from left to right): Wenda Shen (Intern), Joseph Echavarria (Intern), Anthony Piermarini (Principal), Hansy Better Barraza (Principal), Celeste Martinez (Designer), Dane Clark (Associate)

As we reach the beginning of the second month in the New Year at Studio Luz, we are thrilled to share and reflect our accomplishments in 2016 and the projects ahead in 2017. Before we leap into describing exciting new developments in our firm, however, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the gravity of the election and offer some thoughts on what it has meant to us. After the election, we here at Studio Luz found ourselves in a new political context that challenged us to think more deeply about our values and mission. At Studio Luz we operate with a strong social consciousness, we feel more than ever the importance of the work that we and our peers do here and across the country. We also feel truly proud to serve the clients that we do; who do so much to support individuals, families, and communities. We feel lucky to be part of this community and excited to see what we can all achieve together this year.

 

New project with Sociedad Latina

One of the projects we are excited about in 2017 is the building survey we are conducting with Sociedad Latina. Sociedad Latina is an organization in Boston that supports Latinx communities in Mission Hill and Roxbury through providing mentorship in civic engagement, arts, academic assistance, and family support. To our delight, Sociedad Latina has enlisted our help as they begin to think critically about how their program can continue to grow and utilize their space in Mission Hill in the future. Last week, we conducted focus groups with Sociedad Latina’s board and participants to assess the programmatic and spatial needs for the future and presented a building survey.

 

Tilt Down Fence_blog entry

Tilt Down Fence

Our 501c-3 non-profit organization, BR+A+CE completed its third project this year: the Tilt-Down Fence. The Tilt-Down Fence was a temporary public art piece that used ladder-like structures that folded down into picnic tables and benches to activate an area adjacent to the Fields Corner bus stop. Importantly, the piece acted as a community-building mechanism in which adults from the Vietnamese and immigrant communities in the area can gather, support, and network at various events – e.g. story time, ice cream socials, and puppet shows – held over the course of September 2016 for families in the area. This project was completed in collaboration with the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID), Fields Corner Civic Association, and Bloomfield Park Neighborhood Association. The Tilt-Down Fence was funded by The Boston Foundation (Vision Fund Grant), The Awesome Foundation, The Boston Society of Architects Foundation, and Viet-AID.

 

Acorns House at Wellesley College

One very rewarding project that we worked on this year was a renovation for Acorns House, a historic building on Wellesley College’s campus. Acorns House was originally designed by the architecture firm Compton + Pierce in 1955 for the Dean of Students. Acorns House is the new home for Asian, Latina and LGBTQ Advising within the Office of Intercultural Education. The primary challenge was to design a space that could accommodate multiple cultures and be sensitive to the original design intent. Through facilitating focus groups with faculty, staff, and students and contributing our skills as architects, our office was able to design a multi-cultural center that reflected multiple, intersecting identities, created spaces for different required services, and maintained the structural integrity of Acorns House.  

For more images about this project, please visit Studio Luz Architects website.

 

Chestnut St Condominium

We are also proud to announce that we have recently completed a single-family condominium in Beacon Hill. Studio Luz assisted a family of 6 in combining two historic condominiums into a sleek, luminous residence. Together working with FH Perry Builder, Studio Luz designed brightly colored walls, white marble surfaces, and large, flexible glass walls to augment the lighting and capacity of the space. The spaces were designed with transformable furniture as well to accommodate a large family’s need in a unit.

There is nothing more rewarding than the work we do, as it brings together so many people to make for better spaces, better buildings and ultimately better experiences. Thanks to everyone we have worked with and we send our best wishes for peace, health and happiness this year!