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Practice : Spring 2012
This pa st September, the Gate way Initiative partnered with the B oston Redevelopment Authority and the Asian American Civic Association, to launch the Susta inable Storefronts Design Competition. The competition linked 7 BAC student teams with 6 Chinatown business owners and a s part of a juried de sign competition to unc over best practices for designing sust ainable, green storefronts. The partic- ipating businesses included; China Pe arl Restaurant, Chung Wah Hong Market, Great Taste Bakery and Restaurant, Kneeland Electronics, Nam Bac Hong Chinese Herbs and Shing Hong Trading. “ This competition provided our BAC students with a valuable le arning opportu- nity to conduct research a nd apply a holistic understanding of sustainable design through close interaction with members of the Chinatown business community. The possibility of seeing their collab orative ideas realized a nd then spearhead subsequent storefront improvement within Chinatown is exciting a nd motivated them to do their best work” —Len Charney, BAC Head of Practice The Chinatown proje ct is intended to help local businesses begin to address the preser vation of the historical a spe ct of the neighborhood, while cre ating susta inable practices involving storefront renovation a nd faç ade improvement. The Gateway teams did not adhere to strict design criteria when developing their designs; rather each team challenged themselve s to first identif y key issue s enc ompassing various aspects of sustainability, and then reflect on how these ideas informed their design solution s for the individual businesses. Throughout the de sign process, the te ams explored enhancing building envelope performanc e, the utilization of suitable and cost-e ffective green building material s, designing with natura l light, the production of cle an energ y, a nd considered appropriate signage and branding for the each storefront. Starting with façade improvement, the tea ms con sidered sustainability in a holistic manner, acknowledging that green building practices needed to b e incorporated into ea ch of the design solution s. The 7 teams presented their designs on January 10th to a panel of 7 jury members that included; Yongmei Chen, Vice President of Eastern Ba nk; Paul Chan, Director of Development, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation; Bak Fun Wong, Principal, Josia h Quinc y Upper School; John Dalzell, Senior Architect, Boston Rede velop- ment Authority; Jim Hunt, Chief, Energy a nd Environmenta l Ser vice s, City of Boston; Lance Fletcher, Director, Susta inable Design Institute at The B oston A rchitectural College a nd Matt Noblett, Partner, B ehnisch Architects The jury commented on the inventivenes s of each submission a nd awa rded the $2,000 prize to BAC Team 7 for faç ade improvements to the ic onic China Pearl Restaura nt. The demon stration project, in its entirety, is under written by the Barr Foundation. L ed by BAC instructor and recent alum, Michele Stadelman ‘10, the student tea m is comprised of: Ma ster of Architecture students Alyssa Dicken, Shany Grosma n, Kyle Martin, a nd Yosuke Urabe. The jury appreciated the thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing application of innovative green practices, a nd the de sign wa s deemed respectful of Asian culture. Jurors noted that the prominent location of the restaurant on Tyler Street would have a ma ximum impact a s a demon stration project for the Chinatown c ommunity. A s work continues this seme ster, the students will work clos ely with the bu siness owner a nd his contractor to move the project towards con struction later this year, with the construction c osts prima rily covered by the Ba rr Foundation’s grant. Gateway teams up with the BRA and AACA to Develop Sustainable Business Storefronts in Boston’s Chinatown The Chinatown project is intended to help local businesses preser ve historical aspects of the neighborhood, while creating sustainable practices. Sr. Architect , Boston Redevelopment Authority Nway Oo, M.Arch presents to the Chinatown Jur y John Dalzell ’88 PRACTICE 26 PRACTICE] GATEWAY INITIATIVE