282 Bremen Street is located on an edge condition between sprawling greenspace and the dense, urban fabric of East Boston. Measuring over 400’ long, Bremen’s unique site conditions pose many urban design opportunities and challenges for a mixed-use building. We began our design process with an in-depth study of the surrounding site constraints, architectural context, and the social/cultural implications in the neighborhood. The building program resulted in 144 residential units of which 13 are reserved for artists as well as indoor and outdoor resident amenity space. The first floor is defined by a large retail space on the corner and an artist workspace to support the artist units.
Through our research, two major design opportunities emerged; an architectural relationship with the rhythm of the neighborhood and an activation of the ground floor. East Boston is primarily made up of densely built three story, multifamily homes. Using this as a catalyst, the scale of the building is broken down and defined by volumes, roof lines, and changes in material that complement the rhythm of the area and the module of a typical studio, one, or two-bedroom unit. The building is further broken down by defining the ground floor program, the brick signifies building access for the retail, residential lobby, artist workspace lobby, and parking. The active elements of the first floor program are pushed towards the street face while the more passive uses like parking and storage are located away from the street towards the back of the building.
The public face of the building has been pushed back off the property line allowing for generous sidewalks and plantings to enhance the public right of way. In addition to improving the public right of way, sloped walkways, steps, and ramps have been integrated into the design to allow the first floor of the building to be raised up well above the FEMA 100-year flood elevation, increasing the building’s resiliency to future storms and sea level rise.
The completed building will account for its location between a neighborhood and a large expansive park, by activating the street through its first floor program and benefiting the public with its prominent retail space, large artist workspace and generous sidewalk and planting/furnishing zone.
282 Bremen Street
East Boston, MA 02128
145 residential units
Artist live-work units
Client: Transom Real Estate