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OK, that might be a stretch—but can dancing and other forms of recreational activities help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? And, if so, by how much? This is one of the questions we posed to our clients and community group at the Boys & Girls Club in Worcester as part of the Loom Works Project, a unique collaborative effort headed up by our strategic partner, McCabe Enterprises. The multi-disciplinary teams (see credits below) were tasked with contributing to a new plan for several sites in the Kilby-Gardner neighborhood in Worcester, adjacent to Clark University. Our team was charged … Continued

In Search of Timeless Design The Avanti is not your father’s Oldsmobile by: Paul Lukez What defines “timeless design”? This was precisely the question I asked myself on a recent visit to the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, to see an extraordinary exhibit on William Turner, a painter of extraordinary vision and virtuosity. His experiments in depicting unusual atmospheric conditions and light were unparalleled at the time. One might argue that his painterly techniques were precursors to Impressionism. But upon exiting the museum, I caught a glimpse of a metallic turquoise-colored car sitting on a low podium. Strategically … Continued

Last Friday, PLA team members Matt Uminski and Josh McDonald were generously invited by Worthington-Armstrong Joint Venture (WAVE) (also knows as ‘Armstrong World Industries’)  to visit their manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Maryland (www.armstrong.com). Josh and Matt flew down to Baltimore for a great tour of the plant and learn more about the Armstrong line of products. In addition, they were invited to see at Red Sox / Orioles game at Camden Yards.  After a great game and overnight stay at one of Baltimore’s downtown hotels, they flew back to Boston, all courtesy of WAVE.  Here is a big THANK YOU … Continued

Landscape Urbanism Revisited I had the good fortune to go to Vancouver, Canada, recently to meet a new client. This beautiful city is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities, offering a high quality of life. One reason for this is Vancouver’s remarkable natural setting. The central city is bounded by water on three sides, farms to the south and west, and towering mountains to the north. The climate nurtures lush forests and vegetation, which are richly intertwined with the urban landscape. But a great natural setting alone does not make a great city. The planet is … Continued

A little over four years ago, we were asked to design a large multi-use project (H-MAX) in ShoaXing, China, the home of some of the nation’s most famous poets. ShaoXing is also the birthplace of Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1976, who met with U.S. President Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China and helped to improve US-Sino relations. The 1.5 million-square-foot H-MAX encompasses a variety of uses, including hotels, theaters, restaurants, teahouses, retail, housing, and even a luxury car showroom. Its sheer size and strategic urban location offered us an opportunity … Continued

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