With game-changing projects completed and underway in Boston’s developing neighborhoods including Dorchester, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, South Boston and along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, we have released our predictions for the biggest architecture and design trends on the city’s horizon in 2016 and beyond. This year, we expect Boston professionals and residents alike to see continuing transformational trends in the development arena, including:
RISE OF THE BOSTON NEIGHBORHOODS
As the downtown center, Seaport, and South Boston fill up with mega-developments, several communities will see the ripple effects. Very transformative developments are hitting their streets. We are talking about large sites which have been vacant and neglected for years, thus their impacts will catalyze areas far beyond what a downtown development could do.
FOOD & HOUSING
If the first trend materializes, we expect to see a wave of restaurants and grocery stores forming behind those transformed sites. Elected officials have worked hard to empower restaurant entrepreneurs with more accessible beverage licensing and these businesses need traffic (foot, bike, car), which is hopefully coming along with more housing. Supporting local is no longer a trend, it has become a paradigm shift, translating into an economic initiator and stabilizing factor to support these neighborhood developments.
ARTS & CREATIVE EXPRESSION BOILING OVER
What was that thing painted on the Hancock? What about that net hanging over the Greenway? Understand it or not- whatever is going on has created more conversation about the best uses of our public space. It’s almost radical out there. Architects are really trying to explore this sea change.
MILLENIAL NEEDS & WANTS
They want an exciting place to work. We’ve all grown out of the world of cubicles and enclosed offices. Nobody is surprised to see new collaborative work spaces, but there will be several new concepts fusing work spaces with other uses – like art exhibition, fitness, event spaces, cafes, maker spaces. Say goodbye to dull, vanilla boxes and welcome to workplaces that get people excited to show up and are not bound by the constraints of a space, but influencing the broader urban experience.
CHANGING NONPROFIT LANDSCAPE
It seems like every non-profit needs help finding space. We mean schools, homeless shelters, rehab centers, training facilities. It’s not all rosy for a lot of kids, families, and struggling individuals. Look (or hope) for several inspiring examples to come on line exploiting the fervor associated with the food industry, through food trucks and production incubators.