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!

2 Bruner/Cott Projects Win BE+ Green Building Awards

Both Frost Terrace and 808 Memorial Drive were recognized at the 2022 BE+ Green Building Showcase!

The annual showcase was held at the Harvard Science & Engineering Complex on October 27th and celebrated an impressive array of projects that have slowly but surely transformed the built environment and our relationship to it.

Frost Terrace, a 100% affordable housing development in the heart of Porter Square, Cambridge, received the Equity + Inclusion award. According to the judges, “this project provides opportunities for affordable, intergenerational living in infill environments. The engagement with the community through design, and the community created by the development, are both exemplary.”

A new award category this year, 808 Memorial Drive received the Sustainable Building Renovation award. According to the judges, “the project caught the jury’s eyes for its replicability, every city has brutalist apartment buildings that would benefit from a face lift. Renovating while the mixed income residents occupied the building took careful consideration to avoid disrupting occupants, and the resultant energy and water savings are compelling. This project gives us hope that refreshing existing buildings can breathe new life into our communities.”

The annual awards program and celebration is an important marker of progress towards sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment. The local green building community came together in full force. It was the largest showcase since the national Greenbuild conference was held in Boston in 2017. Attendees included architects, engineers, contractors, developers, owners, facility managers, building users, lenders, suppliers, and others who play a role in shaping the built environment.

Thank you, BE+ for recognizing our work at this year’s Green Building Showcase! And congratulations to all recognized projects and teams!

New LEED Certification: Frost Terrace

Frost Terrace has achieved LEED certification!

Frost Terrace, located at 1791 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, was recently certified LEED Gold (v4 – Multifamily Midrise). Part of Frost Terrace’s LEED success is its alignment of sustainable design strategies with principles of affordable housing—lowering utility costs, conserving resources, prioritizing mobility (bikes and transit), and creating healthy living environments for residents. The project includes re-used existing buildings and materials, wood structure and finishes, energy recovery ventilation, efficient electric-driven heat-pump systems, and highly insulated envelopes (new and upgraded).

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. Through design, construction and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.

Congratulations to the project team!

Two Bruner/Cott Projects Named BD+C Reconstruction Award Winners

Two Bruner/Cott projects have been named Silver Award winners in the 2021 BD+C Reconstruction Awards – The Swift Factory, a community hub and job incubator in North Hartford, CT, and Frost Terrace, a 100% affordable housing development in Cambridge, MA.

The BD+C Reconstruction Awards recognize the best reconstructed, renovated, or remodeled projects, based on overall design, engineering, and construction project quality. The Swift Factory and Frost Terrace are among nine Silver Award winners this year, out of 40 total submissions and 18 winning projects.

Frost Terrace is a unique, transit-oriented, 100% affordable family community. The project transforms a forgotten residential site along a commercial avenue into a high-quality housing development for low- and middle-income families in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and combines three historic structures with new construction in a single composition. Its immediate proximity to public transit, bike lanes, and essential community services provides critically needed housing in an attractive, sustainable development.

The Swift Gold Leaf Factory, which closed in 2005, was once the economic heart of Hartford, Connecticut’s North End neighborhood. The Factory’s historic factory buildings and two homes have been reimagined into a community venue generating opportunities for job creation and training, educating youth, improving resident health, and spurring economic growth in Northeast Hartford, Connecticut, a disinvested community.

You can view all winners of the 2021 BD+C Reconstruction Awards in the November/December issue, here.

Bruner/Cott Completes Frost Terrace in Cambridge, MA

     

New Construction and a Restored 19th Century House Anchor Affordable Housing in Porter Square

Known for residential design in new construction, restoration/renovation, and industrial conversions, Bruner/Cott Architects announces the completion of Frost Terrace, a 100 percent affordable housing apartment community at 1791 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge’s Porter Square. Achieved in partnership with Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises, the complex is in a desirable, transit-oriented neighborhood facing an extreme shortage of such housing. It provides 40 families and individuals with long-term rental options.

Directly adjacent to the firm’s Lesley University Lunder Arts Center on Massachusetts Avenue, Frost Terrace comprises three extant buildings—1 and 2 Frost Terrace, plus a contextual modern addition that balances the overall composition. The William Frost house, built in the late 1800s, was preserved, transformed, and expanded at the rear of the complex to provide additional living quarters. Formerly surrounded by similar houses and the North Avenue Congregational Church (moved to its site from Kirkland Street near Harvard Square in 1867 and is now the Lunder Arts library), the Frost house is the last of its kind on the block, providing continuous historical context.

Designed with light and air in mind, twenty-six of Frost Terrace’s 40 units are generous 2-to-3-bedrooms. Thirteen one-bedroom and one studio unit complete the mix. Reserved for households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with four units reserved for households earning less than 50% of AMI and four units reserved for households earning less than 30% AMI, the complex received over 900 applications during its initial leasing.

A transit-oriented development that prioritizes space for people over motor vehicles on the site, Frost Terrace offers immediate proximity to the MBTA, bike lanes, and essential community services, as well as 44 secure bike parking spaces. Three parking spaces are provided for residents with disabilities.

Sustainable design strategies include LEED Gold certification aspirations for multi-family mid-rise. Environmental interventions include the installation of solar panels, stormwater management, tree preservation, and energy efficient equipment, complemented by landscaping and paving improvements that created accessible community space.

“Rooted in community building, new contextual architecture, and historic preservation, Frost Terrace’s sustainable design aligns with current principles of affordable housing—prioritizing mobility, lowering utility costs, conserving resources, and creating healthy living environments,” says Principal-in-Charge Jason Forney. “Our goal was to respect and renew the venerable aspects of the site and its structures while delivering environmentally responsible housing for today and tomorrow.”

The Frost Terrace project was made possible by an affordable rental housing award announced by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on July 25, 2018, which provided $57 million in direct subsidies for 19 high-impact projects throughout the state. Additional funding was derived from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidy funds via the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and funds through the City of Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust.

 

Photos here

Photography Credit: Robert Benson Photography

 

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