2021 Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize, Second Place: The Block

View of communal plaza and development in the background

by Daniel Garcia (March II ’20), Kyle Ryan (MDes REBE ’21), and Peeraya Suphasidh (MArch II ’20)  — Recipients of the 2021 Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize, Second Place.

The Block is a mixed-use, transit-oriented development proposal of a 10 acre shopping center in Allston, MA. Located at the new Boston Landing MBTA rail stop, this project envisions diverse spaces for living, working, and retail in the form of a new elevated urban square, forming the foundation for a 15-min city.

A vibrant streetscape lined with retail gradually elevates to create a secondary village-like urban fabric. Composed primarily of low-rise, programmatically diverse blocks, the public and semi-public spatial sequences create an exceptional experience for residents, office tenants, and neighbors alike. Separated by attractive planted stairways, courts, and passageways, The Block scaffolds together all the necessary ingredients for creating premium living environments suitable and adaptable to residents’ unique needs.

Through design, the project cultivates the support systems and social lives we seek, shaping our unique daily experience and helping to unlock the benefits of community living.

The Block operates within the constraints of traditional development investment expectations, while pushing the financial model further to create something meaningful for the community with greater public benefit.