Living Village Begins Construction

Congratulations to Yale Divinity School on celebrating a significant milestone for the Living Village Project!

On October 11th, our project team joined Yale Divinity School staff, faculty, trustees, and more to signal the official start of construction for the Living Village project with a groundbreaking ceremony. Scheduled for completion in August 2025, the Living Village will be the largest Living Building Challenge (LBC) 4.0 certified residence on a university campus in U.S. history, and the first on an Ivy League campus.

We are thrilled to see this project move forward and eventually inspire those who experience it to deepen their connection with the natural environment.

Visit the project’s official website to learn more.

Two Projects Celebrate Ribbon-Cuttings and Openings

This fall, Bruner/Cott celebrated the official opening of two projects – the Rivermark Towers in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Aliki Perroti & Seth Frank Lyceum at Amherst College.

On August 30th, our team traveled to Amherst, Massachusetts to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of the Aliki Perroti & Seth Frank Lyceum, a new, 20,000 sf academic facility to house the History Department and Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) at Amherst College. The project combines the reuse of an unused, historic home with carbon-conscious new construction to create a new space on campus for learning, collaboration, and exploring the human condition. The celebration was attended by College President Michael Elliot, as well as significant faculty, staff, and trustees of Amherst College.

On October 4th, we joined our client, Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc., as well as NEI General Contracting, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Esq. of Cambridge, Deputy Secretary Jennifer Maddox of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Mark Teden of MassHousing, Rep. Mike Connolly, and Sen. Sal DiDomenico, to celebrate the opening of Rivermark Towers., a 490,000 sf apartment situated along the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The project renovated and revitalized the affordable housing complex with a focus on energy efficiency, occupant health and wellness, equity, and community.

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!

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

 

###

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.

Bruner/Cott Completes New Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine

     

A Beloved Portland Venue Receives a New Home for Play and Exploration

Boston, MA (June 28, 2021) – Known for its museum design expertise, Bruner/Cott Architects recently completed a new 30,000-square-foot building for the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. Formerly housed in the downtown Portland Arts District, the Museum & Theatre’s former physical limitations restricted its ability to expand programming and services for steadily growing visitation and educational offerings. Now, located on Thompson’s Point in Portland along the Fore River, the bold, new structure, which opened on June 24, is designed to support greater access and future growth.

The size, scale, and shape of the Museum & Theatre connect it to the industrial shipping and railroad heritage of its site. Its proportions, rhythm, and fenestration patterns are inspired by Thompson’s Point historic brick structures, and steel cross-bracing is a referential feature. The exterior is clad with colorful metal shingles arranged in a dynamic, playful pattern—inspired by patterns found in nature. Inside, the new building contains a 100-seat theatre, experiential exhibits, a STEM classroom and makerspace, meeting rooms and offices, and an outdoor play area adjacent to the waterfront landscape.

A spacious, 20-foot-high entry lobby surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass welcomes visitors of all ages. Connecting the indoors and outdoors, it brings in abundant natural light, setting the stage for a welcoming experience for caregivers and children. Easily navigable, the museum’s exhibit spaces incorporate visual and programmatic connections to Maine culture.

Sustainable strategies employed in the project included first addressing the challenges of a brownfield site (an old railway repair yard). Knowing that this highly visible and important building site was comprised of fill soil that would be expensive to remove and replace with structural soil, the project pre-loaded the building area to compact the soil and minimize off-site removal. Low wattage LED lighting was used throughout the building, and a VRF (variable refrigeration flow) system was installed for heating and cooling. These MEP measures save energy and operating costs because the entire system is more efficient than one that simply meets code. Additionally, the site is in close proximity to local, regional, and international public transportation.

“We began this project nearly six years ago, building on our firm’s long history of museum and gallery design,” said Bruner/Cott Principal Jason Forney. “A true collaboration between our firm and our client has produced a building that embodies the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s mission and goals for its new venue, certain to attract visitors from near and far.”

“There is so much joy in this building and visitor excitement about its opening,” said CMTM Executive Director Julie Butcher Pezzino. “The past year has been trying for everyone. As we move past the pandemic, we are enthusiastic about all the experiences our new building and its innovative, interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art theatre will bring to fans of our previous facility, as well as new visitors to Maine from across the nation and the world.””

 

Photos: https://bit.ly/3qnhPux

Photography Credit: Trent Bell Photography

Top Left Filmstrip Photo: Sean Alonzo Harris

 

###

About Bruner/Cott

A two-time recipient of the AIA National Honor Award for Design, the firm’s work has been recognized for award-winning design in preservation, adaptive transformation, and new construction. The firm is dedicated to design excellence and the belief that thoughtful architecture and planning can make a positive difference in the quality of life, shared sense of purpose, and vitality of a community. Headquartered in Boston, MA, the firm is a 49-year young practice that bring a broad, integrated perspective to design, giving depth to each practice area.

The firm’s seminal projects include MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), one of America’s largest contemporary art museums, the reimagined Boston University School of Law complex, recipient of a DOCOMOMO US Modernism in America Award; and the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, a 2017 AIA COTE Top Ten Award winner and a Living Building certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

 

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Media release:

Debra Pickrel, Principal
Pickrel Communications, Inc.

Click to download.

Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine Celebrates Grand Opening

The new Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine celebrated the long-anticipated grand opening of its brand new building, yesterday.

Museum Director Julie Butcher Pezzino, Museum Board President Kristin Valdmanis, and Maine Governor Janet Mills were among those who spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

 

[stblockquote title=”” top_left=”” author=”Kristin Valdmanis, Museum Board President”]We built this amazing place for everyone, young and old, and our goal is to ensure belongingness and connection for all who walk through these giant yellow doors.

[/stblockquote]

 

A spacious, 20-foot-high entry lobby surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass welcomes visitors of all ages. Connecting the indoors and outdoors, it brings in abundant natural light, setting the stage for a welcoming and relaxing experience for caregivers and children.

 

Easily navigable, the museum and theatre’s exhibit spaces incorporate visual and programmatic connections to Maine culture.

 

Just shy of its 100th birthday, Maddy’s Theatre found a new home at Thompson’s Point where it can truly “unleash magic” and inspire joy and discovery. Equipped with a teaching tech booth, a soundproof viewing gallery, its own dedicated lobby, and a green room and workshop backstage, Maddy’s Theatre is a state-of-the-art facility designed with young, family audiences in mind.

 

Congratulations, Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine! Bruner/Cott is proud to have designed the new home for your beloved institution.

 

Construction Begins at Huntington Theatre

The Huntington Theatre is undergoing a major transformation along Boston’s “Avenue of the Arts.” On Thursday, March 25th, the Huntington Theatre Company held a virtual press conference to announce the start of an 18-month renovation period that will restore, revitalize, and modernize the historic performance venue. The Huntington’s Managing Director Michael Maso, Theater Manager Kat Herzig, and Board Chairman David Epstein each gave remarks.

Bruner/Cott Partner and Principal Jason Forney, FAIA, presented new renderings of the reimagined theatre, including a video flythrough.

Construction will be completed in two phases. Phase one will consist of theater renovations and upgrades to enhance the audience experience and create state-of-the-art backstage and technical facilities. Phase two will expand into the adjacent new construction project and will offer 14,000-sf of added amenity space, including ticketing, a café, balcony, bar, and event space.

The Huntington Theatre is expected to reopen for the start of its 2022 season.

For more information about the Huntington Theatre renovation and expansion, click here.

 

288 Harrison St. is PHIUS+ CORE Pre-Certified

Our project at 288 Harrison Street is PHIUS+ CORE Pre-Certified by Passive House Institute US!

This multifamily, new construction project will significantly add to the affordable housing stock in the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston, transforming a current parking lot into a building that is respectful of its surrounding context and is a gateway to the neighborhood. The sustainable design prioritizes measures that minimize the impact of energy consumption and high-temperature events, including high performance building envelope and windows, energy recovery, a light roof with high solar reflectance, high-efficiency HVAC equipment, and careful attention to mitigate against air pollution. Learn more.

The PHIUS+ Certification Program is the leading passive building certification program in North America. It combines a thorough passive house design verification protocol with a stringent Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program performed onsite by highly skilled and specialized PHIUS+ Raters and Verifiers. In certain circumstances such as high unit density, it’s problematic to meet the PHIUS+ 2018 targets on-site. For these cases, PHIUS now offers PHIUS+ Core. PHIUS+ Core retains PHIUS+ 2018’s conservation target, but enables project teams to certify utilizing only on-site measures. Learn more.

808 Memorial Drive Project Receives $87m in Financing from Mass Housing

Congratulations to client Homeowner’s Rehab Inc. on receiving $87.2 million in financing for the renovation of the 808-812 Memorial Drive multifamily housing community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This financing will enable HRI to extend affordability protections by at least 15 years and to make substantial property renovations.

Situated along the Charles River, the buildings house 300 mixed-income apartment units of varying sizes, approximately 38,000 sf of commercial space, and five levels of parking. The project aims to improve tenant comfort and sense of security, while also strengthening the residential community and identity.

MassHousing provided HRI with a $61.5 million tax-exempt construction loan and permanent loan, $24.9 million in taxable and tax-exempt credit equity bridge financing and a $787,763 interest reduction payment (IRP) loan. The project will also use $8.9 million of income during the construction period for development costs. The transaction also involved $36.9 million in equity financing from an allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit tax credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The LIHTC tax credits were syndicated by RBC.¹

Bruner/Cott is performing an occupied renovation of two 1970s-era apartment buildings with construction expected to be completed by 2022.

Read the full article on Multi-Housing News.