3 Bruner/Cott Projects Win BSA Design Awards

We are so excited to share that 3 Bruner/Cott projects were recognized with BSA Design Awards!

  1. Frost Terrace (Cambridge, MA) received a Merit Award for Built Design Excellence in Adaptive Reuse, Renovation, & Preservation.
  2. Charles River Speedway (Brighton, MA) received a Social Impact Commendation for Built Design Excellence in Adaptive Reuse, Renovation, & Preservation.
  3. Rivermark (Cambridge, MA) received an Environmental Impact Commendation for Built Design Excellence in Housing.

Recognized projects were honored at the BSA Awards Gala, held at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter on March 7, 2024. Members of the Bruner/Cott staff attended to celebrate the wins of the firm and our industry peers.

Descriptions and jury comments of all awarded projects can be found on the BSA Design Awards website.

Thank you, BSA, for recognizing our work and congratulations to all award recipients!

2 Bruner/Cott Projects Win Retrofit Metamorphosis Awards

Two Bruner/Cott projects are featured in the November/December issue of Retrofit Magazine as winners of the 2022 Metamorphosis Awards!

 

The Charles River Speedway received 1st Place in the Adaptive Reuse Category. The Speedway is a multi-building reuse project that repositions a 19th-century stable and parks department into a versatile new pubic courtyard, combining historic preservation with forward-thinking sustainable design. The judges commented, “Nice project for the community and nice to see all-electric. The project seems simple, but sometimes achieving simple is a difficult task.”

The Speedway is featured in a five-page spread. Click here to read.

Frost Terrace, a 100% affordable housing community in Cambridge, MA, received 2nd Place in the Multifamily Housing Category. The project weaves together three historic houses, significant contemporary architecture, and a dynamic, human-centered landscape to transform a forgotten residential site along a commercial avenue. The judges commented, “Charming integration of old and new. Great story about affordability and increased density. I particularly enjoy how the historic house holds the sidewalk edge without being overwhelmed by the addition of new construction behind it. Expertly scaled new construction and lovely sitework makes all the buildings – old and new – fit on the narrow site without feeling cramped.”

Read the full Frost Terrace write-up, here.

Congratulations to both project teams and thank you, Retrofit Magazine, for recognizing our work!

Boston Preservation Alliance Honors The Speedway

We are thrilled to share that the Boston Preservation Alliance has named the Charles River Speedway as one of six recipients of its 34th annual Preservation Achievement Awards!

This awards program recognizes outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston. Celebrated for their positive impact on the city’s built environment, winning projects are looked upon as models for future preservation work.

In partnership with AHF Boston, Bruner/Cott transformed a former mile-long harness and bicycle racetrack complex, built in 1899, into an exciting mixed-use destination for the community. You can read more about the Speedway project here.

“The Speedway is proof that any property, no matter how challenging, can be brought back to life with the right team. AHF went above and beyond to collaborate with the neighborhood, find partners and financial resources, and deliver a restored, vibrant resource to the community,”   – Alison Frazee, Executive Director.

The Boston Preservation Awards celebration will be held at The Speedway’s Garage B. For more information about the award winners and the event on October 20, 2022 – please visit bostonpreservation.org. 

Speedway Wins Robert H. Kuehn Award from Preservation Massachusetts

The Charles River Speedway has been named a 2022 Robert H. Kuehn Jr. award winner by Preservation Massachusetts! This award recognizes extraordinary projects that meld collaborative partnerships with creative and cutting-edge ideas for the rehabilitation and active reuse of historic buildings.

We are honored to be award winners this year, and we are in great company. Other award winners include extraordinary examples of great historic preservation projects like the Roslindale Branch of the Boston Public Library, the Courthouse Lofts in Worcester, the Knitting Mill Apartments in Fall River, and Swartz Hall at the Harvard Divinity School. We look forward to celebrating them all on May 11 at the annual Preservation Massachusetts Preservation Awards.

The Charles River Speedway has also been nominated as a People’s Preservation Choice award, and we are asking for the support of the community to help us get to the top of the list. If you know and love the revitalized Speedway, we’d love to get your vote – click here to support The Speedway today!

Bruner/Cott Completes ‘The Speedway’ in Brighton, MA


Bruner/Cott Architects Completes “The Speedway”

An Historic 1899 Horse and Bicycle Racing Complex is Revived for New Uses

 

Boston, MA (January 27, 2022) – Known for innovative restorations and rehabilitations of historic buildings, Bruner/Cott recently completed The Speedway, a mixed-use transformation of a 19th-century trotting horse stable and metropolitan park police station and jail on the Charles River. A Boston Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the firm worked alongside the not-for-profit developer, Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF), to preserve and revitalize the renowned but endangered complex to stimulate community growth and economic development.

Constructed in 1899 by the Metropolitan Park Commission as a headquarters to support a new parkway along the river, the development turned a stretch of tidal mudflats into an interconnected series of public parks. The stables and park offices supported a race track beside the river for bicycle and trotting races. The picturesque overall composition is characteristic of its architect William D. Austin’s work for the Metropolitan Parks Commission—an irregular roofline connects six shingle-style buildings, creating a single-story courtyard, highlighted by arched gable entrances, porches, double hung windows, and elaborate wood trim. The mile-long racetrack became one of the city’s most popular gathering areas. Now, as a new gateway to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, the complex supports a diverse tenant mix including small retail shops and soon-to-open food vendors, a publicly-accessible community courtyard, a flexible event space at Garage B, and anchor tenant Notch Brewing’s biergarten and brewery.

Following the Park Commission’s tenancy, the facility housed the now-defunct Metropolitan District Commission Police. During this time, many of its original horse stables were extended and converted into vehicular garages to support the agency. Beginning in 2005, the facility was largely abandoned. Portions of the buildings were beginning to decay, and one section suffered a serious fire. The Bruner/Cott and AHF Speedway project has preserved a local recreational treasure and given the park a new life for generations to come. Bruner/Cott’s design approach to preservation included removal of piecemeal garage extensions at historic stable frontages and the reconstruction of lost features including wooden carriage access, sliding barn doors, and an extensive series of carefully  restored and replicated windows. Original building entrances within the sloping site placed doors at different levels, and a new raised platform for performers united these via an unobtrusive wooden ramp. Interior plaster was so damaged by fire and rain that it was removed entirely to add insulation. Fieldstone foundations were reinforced with concrete and repointed. Stables and a 1940 concrete garage were fitted with recessive glazed fronts and overhead doors to make strong connections to outdoor gathering spaces, especially the tranquil interior of the upper courtyard.

Long-considered too complicated and limited in square footage for an economically sustainable rehabilitation, AHF pioneered new approaches to retail tenancy, events space management, and adjacencies among occupants to reintroduce life into the Allston-Brighton community via long abandoned stables, jail, basement cow barn, and garages. The buildings look like they did in 1899, 1904, 1920, and 1920. The new occupants do not.

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Photography credit: MASS DCR (left), D.F. Pray General Contractors (center, right)

Release issued by Pickrel Communications, Inc. on January 27, 2022.

Notch Brewing Opens at Charles River Speedway

The long-awaited second location of Salem-based Notch Brewing is now open at the Charles River Speedway!

The new taproom occupies a 3,766 sf former horse stable, from when the Speedway was a racing complex. Where possible, elements from around the site were salvaged and integrated into the Notch space. Reclaimed beams and trusses were turned into standing top tables in the bar area, and you can find old horse rings mounted to the bar. Timber from demolition at the Salem location was used to face the bar and repurposed into tables and benches.

Outside, visitors can enjoy a massive 2,000 sf year-round beer garden to drink, gather, and/or distance.

Photos from Notch Brewing official website and @charlesriverspeedway on instagram.

Shifting Gears

‘Shifting Gears’ by Henry Moss, AIA, LEED AP is a part of ArchitectureBoston’s spring theme — RENEW.

The article focuses on the historic Charles River Speedway complex as it gets set for a reawakening. The complex will be energized by a brewery and taproom (Notch), a full-service restaurant, small-format shops featuring local makers and artisans, food purveyors, social enterprises, and creative office space. The renewed Speedway site is now under construction, with the courtyard retail and taproom scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

If winter is cold and dark, at least snowdrops and the promise of spring give us hope and hint of new life. The cycles of change—to cities and the natural world—can remind us that places have souls to lose. Emotions may be mixed. There is a quiet richness to the reworking of existing buildings that has crept into the psyche of the design professions as they resurrect past aesthetics, juxtaposed against new imageries and an overturning of previous uses. Those cycles of change reel from catastrophic to delicately nuanced, and architects try to counter one and orchestrate the other.

Read the full article here.

 

Charles River Speedway Celebrates Groundbreaking

The Charles River Speedway celebrated its official groundbreaking on Thursday, October 24th!

 

Bruner/Cott joined the Architectural Heritage Foundation (AHF), Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), DCAMM, and local leaders and members of the community to break ground at the historic Charles River Speedway.

AHF President Sean McDowell, 18th Suffolk District Representative Michael Moran, DCR Interim Commissioner Jim Montgomery, and DCAMM Commissioner Carl Gladstone gave speeches at the ceremony, followed by drinks from Notch Brewing, the Speedway’s anchor tenant.

The Speedway was constructed in 1899 by the Metropolitan Park Commission (MPC) as a headquarters to support the new parkway along the Charles River, a park that turned a stretch of tidal mudflats into an interconnected series of public parks. Since 2005, the facility has been largely abandoned.

Bruner/Cott is working alongside Architectural Heritage Foundation to revitalize and preserve the historic complex. The Speedway will support a diverse tenant mix that will include small retail shops and maker spaces, a restaurant, café, brewery (Notch Brewing), shared offices, and a publicly-accessible community courtyard.

We were thrilled to celebrate this project milestone! Congratulations to all involved!