Aug. 15th Piedmont Park Square Multi-Unit Housing Project




Studio Luz Architects is proud to present the Piedmont Park Square project. We are indebted to our clients, TCR Development and JB Ventures for being out-of-the-box thinking developers and gave Studio Luz and the consulting team the opportunity to build the vision into reality. The multi-unit residence is located at the edge of the neighborhood, acting as an urban threshold that bonds the large scale and modern buildings of the city with the small scale, historic, residential fabric of the Bay Village. The project features 4 townhouse style units, 4 row house flats, and 10 sub-grade parking spaces.




The townhouse flats are floor through units, which create stacked living situations. This organization is expressed most significantly at the intersection of Piedmont and Church Street, resulting the corner with an interlocking massing of large windows with the resemblance of a “Dovetail.” The organization of row house units is articulated by “Zipper Course” brick work, giving an individual expression to each of the units. Entry ways are recessed in keeping with the local residences, and the brick facade above the entry features “Stubble Course” brickwork that further demarcates entries.


piedmont interior


Sustainable practices were considered during the design process. Brick was used for the exterior skin because it now requires 70% less energy to produce than it did in 1970, it was locally sourced and due to its durability and permanence qualities, it is less likely to end up in a landfill. High performance foam insulation was used throughout the project with the building envelop exceeding code requirements. Sustainable harvested wood, LOW or NO-VOC paints and finishes were used throughout. The project also met Energy Star Standards and met the Massachusetts STRETCH Code.


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




Studio Luz Architects Updates

This summer Studio Luz office is jammed with diverse people and projects. A recent-grad RISD M.Arch student, Tzu-Yu Su joins the office for summer internship. Iris Kim, a fourth year B.Arch student at RISD, and a team of volunteered weaving artists, Lyza Baum, Siena Smith, Michelle Dunbar, and Isabelle Camarra, and Illustrator, Gina Baek, join for the public art installation “The Tilt-Down Fence,” an immigrant communal project initiated by the non-profit organization BR+A+CE. Series of events such as free ice cream, puppeteer show, and immigrant’s story reading will be happening on the site. Find out more on the project’s blog.

Academically, principal Hansy Better Barraza was promoted to Professor in Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and was Graduate Program Director. Joined since 2015 Fall as assistant Professor of Architecture at Roger Williams University, principal Anthony Piermarini continues his service at RWU and coordinates first year architectural design, computing, and graphic communication program.




Dec. 23rd A Holiday Message and Happy 2016!


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As 2016 is about to start, we here at Studio Luz are excited to reflect on the almost complete new residential building, Piedmont Park Square. As part of our reflection, we recognize that this building is not a result of a singular effort by one group of people but built upon a collaborative team invested in design.  We are indebted to our clients, TCR Development and JB Ventures for giving Studio Luz and our consultants the opportunity to see the collaborative efforts come into built reality. The new construction of eight residential units in Bay Village would not have been possible without the contractors, Atlantic Management, and their dedication to seeing this through.  It is rewarding to see how many people we have collaborated with on this project and helped us successfully complete this milestone work. Thank you for the privilege!

We have much to look forward to in 2016, including projects under way and new clients that we will certainly enjoy working with. We will starting construction on multiple single family renovations in the Boston area including Brookline, Beacon Hill, Roslindale, Weston and Brighton.  For residential projects, we rely on contractors that are creative problem solvers and have a proven track record to build our projects. We want to thank Aldor Corporation, Aedi Construction and FH Perry Builders for their trusted relationships.  We are forming a new collaboration with Cocobeet, an innovative food company looking to expand their existing Boston business with a new location in Wellesley, MA. Stay tuned for design updates in 2016!

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 for the New Year!

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Above: Dustin Street renovation, Brighton, MA


A Year in Review:

The Meyer Residence received The American Architecture Award for 2015. This award honors the best, new significant buildings and landscape and planning projects designed and/or built in the United States. The Meyer Residence drawings and photos are being exhibited at the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies in Chicago in December 2015. After Chicago, the exhibition travels to Izmir Turkey and then to our Museum in Athens, Greece.


Image courtesy of John Horner Photography

Studio Luz is waiting on permits for Bruno‘s Burgersa 2,000 square foot, 62-seat restaurant featuring grass-fed burgers, sandwiches & shakes in Cape Cod, MA.  Studio Luz assisted the owners in developing the brand, graphic design and space that will serve meat that is raised naturally without antibiotics or hormones. Studio Luz designed a new façade and interiors, featuring vertical wood Garapa fins that help to animate and transform a former donut shop.


Studio Luz completed the Providence Foods Marketplace feasibility study for the City of Providence. Intending to create a new form of civic space that supports the local food culture, the City of Providence approached Studio Luz to come up with a new food/ marketplace typology. This new building would house and celebrate the local farmers, food makers and entrepreneurs by providing a diverse set of spaces where they can sell their produce.


ACTAR recently released an article written by Hansy Better Barraza,  “Architect as Initiator: Searching for Authentic Production” in Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice edited by Martha Bohm, Joyce Hwang, and Gabrielle Printz. The article discusses projects designed and built by BR+A+CE, a 501c3 non-profit co-founded by Hansy Better Barraza and Anthony Piermarini, and how they related to notions of architectural “patronage” today and their implications in design, research, and practice.

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Jul. 24th Moving Up in Scale: Studio Luz Multi-Unit Housing


We approach the design of urban housing not as just an aggregation of unit types or even just a single building, but as a set of homes for families, groups and individuals. Through housing design, one is able to reflect upon how people live, and how these types of buildings contribute to the health of the urban environment. Every housing project must respond to the lifestyles of the families that use it. It must attract and accommodate diverse family types and structures. Community responsibility, sensitivity to historic contexts, [either by mandate or culture]  as well as integrating landscapes are evident in some of recent projects featured here.


25 Piedmont Street 

The project is made up of 8 new residential units in the historic neighborhood of Bay Village. The project consists of four townhouses and four apartment units, the organization of the unit types is articulated in the massing of the building to strengthen interior and exterior relationships. The corner of Piedmont and Church Street has an interlocking massing of large windows that respond to the stacked flats, and create large open windows connecting to the neighborhood. Row houses are expressed through the projected bays and individual entryways. The design incorporates a play of brick patterning that further articulates the units and relates to the overall historic character of the neighborhood. Studio Luz worked with TCR Development on this project.



111 Dorchester Residence

Located at the major intersection of Dorchester St.  and West Broadway in South Boston, this residential development  helps to fill in an underdeveloped commercial lot. The proposed four story building would bring 8 new residential units to the area, and contribute to the vitality of the square. The new building facade is a simple proportional grid, responding to fenestration patterns found in the area. The building skin is accentuated by an array of fiber cement color panels. The project  includes eight residential units and eight parking spaces. The design of the facade is simple; the dynamic rhythm facade of wood panels accenting the windows creates a strong street presence and identity for the building. Studio Luz teamed up with TCR Development for this project.


328-334 & 376-384 Blue Hill Avenue 

Blue Hill Avenue, a major (currently mostly vehicular) connector within Boston, has many vacant lots that are being considered for development. Collectively, this new development initiative aspires to make Blue Hill Avenue an active corridor, with spaces for local businesses and new housing. Studio Luz partnered with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation to develop two proposals for two separate sites along Blue Hill Avenue.


328-334 Blue Hill

We took the inflection of Blue Hill Avenue as a concept to inspire the relationship of the facade to the street. The subtle bend of the street is reverberated in the building through a façade that angles toward the street, and breaks down the long wall into smaller folded bays, responding to the proportions of the surrounding existing buildings. Floors 2 and 3 are brick, complimenting the coursing patterns of the building on the corner of Blue Hill Ave and Lawrence Ave. The 4th floor, clad with metal siding, is stepped back to give prominence to the 3rd floor cornice line that ties into the heights of the buildings on the street. The building consists of a mix of 20 residential units, commercial spaces on the ground floor with integrated planting areas, balconies and other shared outdoor spaces.



376-384 Blue Hill

The prior lot sizes have greatly influenced the proportions of the buildings. There is a consistent 22.5 feet rhythm ingrained into the planning logic of the neighborhood. The proposed design respects this grid, and utilizes as a proportional tool to building up a playful stepped façade system of bays. The ground floor retail also steps in and out from the sidewalk, creating deeper spaces for planters and comfortable thresholds to the commercial areas. Floors 2 and 3 are composed of collaged brick panels that showcase the diversity of brick patterns and colors found in the area, at once tying the building into the existing textures of the neighborhood, creating a new brick identity, and leveraging smart construction methods to produce an affordable and beautiful facade. The building consists of a mix of 18 residential units, commercial spaces on the ground floor with integrated planting areas, balconies and other shared outdoor spaces.




227 Talbot Street

The Stretch of Talbot Avenue consists of many flat roof triple deckers and the New Levedo Building, together creating an identifiable urban street wall. With this comes the challenge of animating the ground plane and making the space of the street friendly to pedestrians as well as automobiles. The buildings along Spencer Street on the other hand consist of multifamily dwellings with bow fronts and dormers. The proposal will reconcile these scales through an undulating facade to create urban pockets and break down the scale into smaller masses that are proportional to the adjacent fabric. We propose a 4 story podium type building, steel framed first floor with concrete slab and wood frame construction on floors 2-4. This initial proposal accommodates approximately 5 retail units, 33 residential units with 24 parking spaces. This creates a 40,022 sf building, with an FAR of 1.85.

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