Studio G celebrates 30 years with project tour

As part of our 30th anniversary celebration, Studio G embarked on a tour of three of our completed projects on May 3. We visited Y2Y Harvard Square, Rockland Senior Center, and Boston Prep.

“As part of the production team, an opportunity to see [design] details  that we draw makes that detail more permanent in the memory,” said Studio G designer David Mazzocco. “Part of our challenge as designers is the sense of special empathy we must give to every decision.”

At Y2Y, we saw how the designed space helps youth experiencing homelessness and provides them with resources. The custom bunks are a focal point of the space, offering privacy to those who want it.

Studio G at Y2Y Harvard Square

“Though different in their execution, all three projects are emblematic of Studio G’s mission of building sustainable communities,” said designer Sam Maloney. “We’re seeing folks of all ages, identities, and socio-economic backgrounds utilizing these spaces on a daily basis to build their life experiences.”

At Rockland Senior Center, we were welcomed into a space bustling with life and activity. It is the most popular senior center on the South Shore. Seniors were spread throughout the building, playing cribbage, attending Zumba classes, and socializing with one another. We toured the kitchen, where food is prepared to be eaten on-site or taken to go.

We learned that the space is well-loved by all who come to use it and that it’s also being adapted for things that could not be anticipated when it was originally built.

For example, pickleball has become wildly popular in recent years, so court lines have been added to one of the rooms for indoor pickleball. There is an outdoor court as well.

“The [Rockland Seniors] shared their favorite elements, what new programs they have in the space, and how the use of the space changed over time in ways we never could foresee with [things] like COVID barriers or pickleball becoming so popular a new court had to be opened in the senior center,” said designer Athena Hay. “No matter what the design intent is or how successful a design remains, there are elements that will need to evolve as people’s needs grow or change. We can’t predict the future, but we can prepare for an ever-changing one.”

Studio G at Rockland Senior Center

At Boston Prep, we saw how the building serves students from all over the city and prepares them for a bright future in college and beyond. The school offers a maker space and several science labs to provide students with hands-on experience. We even got to speak with a few students about how they like their school.

“Seeing people using our spaces is the most rewarding part of being an architect,” said architect and project manager Marylee Mercy.

Studio G at Boston Prep

Added architect Keihly Moore, “I thought it was great to hear how the buildings we designed were helping the occupants build community, feel safe, and feel connected to others. This collection of projects was a fun way to see how different communities are formed in different parts of your life—from school aged learning and growing, to the unhoused youth turning to Y2Y to find help, support, security, and hope, to the seniors of Rockland Senior Center who find another community to connect with through food, movement classes, bingo, and games. The spaces help shape what can happen inside—our buildings foster community and improve and enrich lives.”

Overall, the tour was a huge success and we enjoyed seeing projects being utilized both in ways they were intended and in new ways.

“It was really fascinating to hear from people who have been inhabiting these spaces for years versus the designers who have labored over drawings and meetings ages ago,” Athena said.

Marylee looks forward to future Studio G project tours “so we can continue to see the difference our firm is making especially for students and for people who are historically often underserved (in this case seniors, homeless youth, especially homeless LGBTQIA+ youth, and urban students.)”

SGA’s Managing Principal Gail Sullivan said, “It was gratifying to return to three of our projects and see how the spaces continue to serve their purpose years after completion.  Whether school, senior center or youth shelter, it’s notable how appreciative everyone is of having well organized and beautiful spaces.  I feel incredibly lucky to design the kinds of places we do.”

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