BOSTON – September 20, 2022 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, today announced the addition of four new professionals to support the firm’s growth in its healthcare, science, and real estate practice areas. MP is pleased to welcome Ronald Ashton, AIA, LEED AP; Bayley Forgues; Jess Hamilton; and Shruti Kumar, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP.
“We have continued to grow our healthcare, science, and real estate studios to meet the increasing demand in the Greater Boston area and we are proud to welcome these four new employees to our team,” said Daniel Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal and partner at Margulies Perruzzi. “They bring a broad range of skills and experience designing a variety of projects, and they understand our firm’s focus on creating high-quality design and workplace strategies that support our clients’ business goals.”
With decades of experience, Ron has honed his skills on multiple project types, including science/technology projects, medical/hospital renovations, core and shell facilities, tenant improvements, fit-outs, and building repositioning projects. Ron excels at problem-solving with expertise to synthesize client requirements into innovative architectural solutions. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and is a member of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA).
As a recent college graduate, Bayley is focused on assisting the interior design team at Margulies Perruzzi with project space planning, material selection, and presentation development. Bayley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and Architecture with a minor in Studio Art from Endicott College. She has been a volunteer firefighter for over eight years and brings a background in fire science with her to MP.
Jess is a project manager in the science studio with over 15 years of experience leading a diverse portfolio of projects, including life sciences, corporate interiors, retail, and building repositioning located throughout the New England Region. He has proven experience efficiently navigating the unique aspects and needs of a wide variety of design challenges. At MP, he provides his guidance, attention to detail, and technical know-how to each project to achieve a successful outcome and overall client satisfaction. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology from the Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Shruti brings over five years of experience as a project captain and architectural designer. As a job captain in the healthcare studio at MP, Shruti is responsible for assisting the project team with design as well as coordination between consultants and the architectural team. She received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in India and a Master of Architecture from Kansas State University. As a LEED AP BD+C and WELL AP accredited professional, Shruti is well-versed in the evidence-based connection between design and health.
Since its founding in 1988, MP has evolved into an award-winning design firm that creates buildings and workspaces that inspire creativity, attract and retain talent, and enhance mission engagement. The firm collaborates with clients in the corporate, professional services, healthcare, science/technology, and real estate communities to design productive and inspiring work environments.
Boston Scores is a non-profit group that provides after school programs for local youth in grades K-12. These programs are centered around soccer activities and team-based educational enrichment programs.
For several years, Margulies Perruzzi has been involved with Boston Scores as a participant in their annual Scores Cup soccer tournament at Gillette Stadium. The tournament allows companies like ours an opportunity to extend our team building outside the office while also supporting a great cause. This year, I had the opportunity to take over from longtime team MP captain, Rui Ribeiro. And while our team didn’t take home the trophy, we still had a great time out on the turf, seeing Gillette from a different perspective.
MP Soccer Team at Boston Scores’ Scores Cup at Gillette Stadium.
Beyond participating in the annual Scores Cup, we have been lucky to also work with Boston Scores. For almost five years, Boston Scores has been searching for a home for their youth programs and staff offices, and we’ve been proud to be able to assist them in those efforts. After searching and studying several different properties, Executive Director John Maconga was able to guide the organization into a partnership with the Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston. The existing building will house the staff offices for the organization, as well as provide a large homework help space and coach training room. We will also be placing several high-end soccer fields nearby, complete with restrooms, a playground, an outdoor classroom, a walking path, and parking.
When I asked John recently what this means for his organization, he told me, “This project will enable Boston Scores to more than double the number of youth served while enhancing the quality of instruction we provide, deepening our commitment to the youth of East Boston and the City at large.” He added, “We look forward to deepening our connections with the East Boston community.”
Rendering depicting the front exterior view of Boston Scores’ new headquarters.
Other improvements that the project will bring to the community include adding an elevator to the existing Boys and Girls Club building to provide inclusive access to all three floors of the building. The parking lot will also be reconstructed to provide more environmentally friendly stormwater management and increased activity spaces for the area youth.
Rendering of a field providing increased activity space for Boston Scores’ youth programs.
It has been an absolute pleasure working with John and his team at Boston Scores on such a worthwhile project, and we look forward to competing in future Scores Cup events!
“Housing First” is a proven strategy in the nationwide fight to solve the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness. People are assisted to locate housing first, without preconditions around compliance, and then are engaged to address other issues in their lives once they have the stability of a home.
For “Housing First” to work, however, there must be a sufficient stock of housing for people with very low incomes. Though the causes of homelessness are myriad, one of the major propellants has been gentrification of low-cost housing and the virtual elimination of “flophouses” – places where those in need of shelter could stay inexpensively without long-term commitment.
While many individuals who are homeless long term may have disabling conditions such as mental health issues or substance use disorder, the overarching issue for all people experiencing homelessness is they do not have adequate financial resources to afford housing. It is almost impossible to provide support for them with stabilizing their lives if they do not have a safe, affordable and respectful place to live.
A Modern Successor to Triple-Deckers
Enter the concept of modular micro-housing units in the program that the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) calls “A Place to Live.” Working with a variety of agencies, most notably the South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Worcester, MHSA has advocated for the construction of buildings of 18 to24 units that are purpose-built for adults who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
The “A Place to Live” building looks much like traditional triple-deckers or the contextual architectural equivalent. These small, efficient buildings can fit onto vacant lots available throughout urban areas, allowing new residents to become reintegrated into their neighborhoods close to public transportation, near support services and convenient to shopping and education.
These micro-units, usually about 250 square feet, can be designed to meet all current code and accessibility requirements of the municipal, state and federal funding agencies. The best part for residents is the units are full-size studios with a kitchenette, private bathroom and sleeping space – the kind of spaces that people with lived experiences of homelessness say they prefer over old-style rooming houses. The buildings also contain spaces for private and group counseling, common laundry and bike storage facilities.
Comparative cost analysis of modular versus traditional construction clearly shows that for this type of project, the modular approach costs 30 percent less and takes half as much time to build.
Overcoming Hurdles to Construction
Modular micro-units are becoming more common elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world. Given the clear case for them, why haven’t we seen a proliferation of these micro-units around Massachusetts? There are several reasons that point to challenges to be overcome:
Zoning policies for multifamily residential buildings almost always require providing a large number of parking spaces, which drives up the cost and limits the use of available land for housing. As few of the target homeless residents have cars, and the sites are selected for their adjacency to public transportation, the parking requirement becomes an unnecessary burden.
Public funding agencies are challenged to approve non-traditional procurement processes. Collaboration with modular manufacturers is essential to these projects; each factory has its own technologies and systems that allow it to be most efficient. These partnerships with manufacturers need to be put in place early, often before funds are awarded. The old “Design-Bid-Build” approach is not the best way to take advantage of modern or innovative modular construction processes.
Purchasing land for the construction of housing for people who are homeless is fraught with challenges. The timeframe for securing an agreement to buy the land, applying for and receiving funding, obtaining neighborhood approval (or surviving neighborhood opposition), and finally closing on the purchase of the land often takes years. Few property owners want to sell their land to an agency that may or may not be able to close for several years. Clearly, we need a better way to identify and obtain ownership of appropriate sites than battling restrictive land-use barriers and a tight real estate development market.
Homelessness has become a national crisis, and we have a moral imperative to come up with solutions. Modular micro-units are one solution that meets this urgent need and makes economic sense. Let’s address the barriers in order to create such housing now. There is a place for everyone to participate and support the “A Place to Live” concept to help our most needy neighbors without housing.
There is a bit of a Renaissance mindset in all of us architects. Many architects come to this field through various paths and have landed here after other pursuits and academic degrees. I was a painter as far back as age 12, went on to music, ultimately graduating from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging, and finally, became an architect.
I feel that successful architects are endlessly curious about many forms of self-expression. That is why we gravitate toward the Arts.
What we ultimately do is tell a story, and that story is the element that holds all the various parts of a building’s design together as a cohesive whole. But how do we achieve that story in the language of architecture? It’s important to consider how other artists are successful in telling a story in the language of their own art discipline. This is where boundless curiosity comes into play.
Some ideas to consider are:
How do writers tell a story?
How do movie directors tell a story?
How do sculptors tell a story?
How do painters tell a story?
How do musicians tell a story?
When designing, architects take in many factors that will influence the story of a space or building. For example, the renovation or repositioning of a historic building will have a different design narrative than the blank slate of a new ground-up building.
But most of all, we strive to tell the story of our clients; their culture, identity, and aspirations as an organization. As no two works of art are the same, the stories of our clients are unique, and in turn, so are the aesthetics, functions, and spatial requirements of each project.
The more we absorb how other artists navigate through their work, the greater and richer our architecture ideas are informed.
Paul is an Associate Principal and Partner at Margulies Perruzzi, responsible for many of the renderings coming out of the office. His spare time is spent making sculpture, combining his love for painting and architecture with his improvisational jazz background. You can find Paul’s sculptures on Pinterest.
The impact of a global pandemic on the complex, interconnected nature of supply-chains has quite literally brought home to us how fragile that infrastructure is in today’s global economy. While there are signs of recovery, it is impossible to predict the availability of commonplace products, let alone highly specialized building materials and equipment. This is particularly evident when owners, architects, engineers, and contractors are consumed by the frenetic pace of delivering life sciences projects.
In this perplexing new world order, architects must communicate, adapt, and respond more diligently than ever before. Gone are the good old days when specifying a product and receiving it on time was taken for granted. An apt example of how science and technology projects are impacted now is the delivery of essential mechanical and electrical systems equipment such as rooftop HVAC units, variable air volume (VAV) boxes, and generators. Even before the pandemic, these were considered long-lead items. Today, that list has grown to include such components as variable fan drives, electrical panels, lighting, glazing, specialty ceilings, lab gases, quick connect valves, lab furniture, and more. We are also seeing lead times become a moving target even after an ordered product has been given a ship date and tracking number. This can wreak havoc on construction scheduling and cost, stranding crews on site without the materials they need to complete the job as specified.
When facing such a predicament, an architect has two choices: Either accept information given as indisputable and move on, or commit to communication at multiple levels to connect the key players and develop a creative solution. On a recent life sciences project to design a relocating lab facility and its administrative and support spaces, we chose the latter course of action, because failure was not an option. Prior to March 2020, people who had been doing their jobs quietly and efficiently in the background without an architect’s intervention were suddenly integral to an all-hands-on-deck effort. For this lab fit-out, where a key piece of electrical equipment was unavailable by the deadline, we forged strong connections between manufacturing plant managers, distribution centers, and the electrical engineer and contractor to brainstorm different combinations of off-the-shelf products that would take its place and temporarily bridge the lead time gap so the owner could take occupancy as scheduled.
The results of such deliberate communication are measurable. Had we done nothing, an eight-month schedule would have been extended by five months. But in this case, through intensive coordination, the project team was able to re-engineer and redesign the component on the fly and shorten the delay to one month. Our MacGyvered solution allowed the owner to be up and running on day one, and the team is prepared to revisit the project once the originally specified product becomes available.
Although product bottlenecks are beginning to ease slightly, until the supply-chain fully recovers, we foresee owners, project teams, manufacturers, and shippers working in tandem as never before to keep the wheels of commerce moving in the right direction.
BOSTON – June 21, 2022 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has named Kerrie Julian, RA, LEED AP, CDT as the new director of science strategy. Reporting to Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal and senior partner, Kerrie will be responsible for lending her expertise to projects, managing and recruiting staff, and developing new client relationships.
“Kerrie brings excellent design, construction, and project management skills in addition to exceptional knowledge of research and development spaces, lab equipment and utilities, and control areas,” said Dan. “She has spent the past 15 years focused on life science, biotech, biopharma, and laboratory projects and will be a valuable addition to our growing science studio.”
With over 25 years of experience in project programming, detailed design, and construction administration, Kerrie worked on a wide variety of projects in the Greater Boston area, including Boston Heart Diagnostics, Biogen, Quest Diagnostics, Smith and Nephew, Frequency Therapeutics, Triplet Therapeutics, J&J/DePuy, EQT Exeter, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Kerrie earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Wentworth Institute of Technology and completed a Lab Safety Seminar at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is VP of Alumni Relations on the Wentworth Institute of Technology Alumni Board and co-chair of the Wentworth golf committee.
With an inspirational science portfolio, Margulies Perruzzi specializes in life sciences, medical devices, research and development (R&D), and manufacturing. Margulies Perruzzi has worked with a wide range of industry leaders, including Siemens, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Millipore Sigma, Philips, Metabolix, Boston Scientific, and many others.
MP was excited to attend the annual SMPS Boston Awards Gala on June 8th, 2022 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We congratulate all our A/E/C industry marketing peers awarded for their past year’s marketing and marketing communications achievements. We were thrilled to be awarded first place in the Holiday Piece category!
What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? To succeed in the world of architecture, good communication and good partnerships are key. A thoughtful project team includes the general contractor, architects, engineers, and owner’s representatives, and, of course, a good client. This team is only as strong as its weakest link. Each of these roles needs the other to be balanced to be truly successful. When any one of these entities exudes more influence than the other, a project will fall far short of what it truly could be if everyone pulled together.
What led you to your current profession? I’ve always believed that our physical environment curates our experiences and that people react, whether subconsciously, consciously, or both, to the built environment around them. Their behavior is deeply influenced by it in ways not fully understood. Architects, builders, and developers are challenged with creating our world and doing so in a responsible, meaningful way. This responsibility is very intriguing and fun to be a part of as an architect.
What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?
Heli-snowboard in deep powder backcountry Montana
Scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef
Watching the Portuguese national football team win the World Cup during my lifetime
What are you doing when you aren’t working? Coaching two successful youth soccer teams and raising a young family.
What recent project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? I was recently promoted to partner at Margulies Perruzzi. I have been with the firm for over 10 years and within that time I have held several roles. Most recently, my focus has been on partnering with our science team members to continue to grow and strengthen the studio. As an architect and project manager, I enjoy working closely with our science clients to create a design that is both functional and truly unique to them. For this next chapter, I am excited to join the other partners to help continue to lead the firm’s growth.
What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? Succeeding is about making a positive impact on the field you are in, and the people who surround you. Being a successful architect is about making each client feel something exciting, unique, important, or significant about their building or space. Everyone I work with is different, so finding that niche for each of them can often be the most intriguing part of design. If I can help be the liaison in creating that feeling, then I have done my job well.
What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?
Visit all 7 continents
Have my name on a building
What are you doing when you aren’t working? Traveling, skiing, golfing – listed from skill level of best to worst
What recent project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? I am finishing construction documents for a project to create a four-story, ground up lab and office building in Somerville. The goal of this building is to reflect the surrounding brick and beam buildings while introducing some modern elements such as curtain walls. We are targeting LEED Platinum certification. We are looking to use CLT (cross laminated timber) for the upper floor slabs for the first time in the Boston area. This will look great when it’s complete and be more sustainable than concrete and steel, while still achieving the same vibration and acoustical properties as steel and concrete.
What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? To succeed in the architecture industry, you need to collaborate with your project teams. I prioritize not only taking time to mentor junior staff, but also to ask questions myself to more senior staff in order to work more efficiently. It’s also important to collaborate with partners involved in disciplines outside of your firm. For instance, I find it helpful to talk to the members of the construction team to learn different ways to construct elements and details, as well as more cost effective and practical ways to achieve design details.
What led you to your current profession? I majored in architectural engineering technology at Wentworth Institute of Technology and completed a co-op to receive real world experience, which led to a 13-year employment at a firm that focused on workplace and real estate repositioning. I moved to a firm focused exclusively on life science projects. During my four years there, I got to work on a variety of lab spaces, mostly for tenants, as well as a repositioning project. I learned a ton about this exciting and quickly growing market sector. I recently joined Margulies Perruzzi to help contribute to our growing life science practice.
What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?
Backpacking in Europe for a summer
Trip to Hawaii
Win the lottery
What are you doing when you aren’t working? Working on renovating my 1823 house or at the beach in the warmer months.
BOSTON – June 2, 2022 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has promoted Caitlin Greenwood, AIA, IIDA and Jenna Meyers, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP to partner. The move is the continuation of extensive long-term planning for the firm’s growth and expands MP’s leadership and management team in all practice areas.
“Both Caitlin and Jenna have distinguished themselves as leaders through their project work as well as through their efforts to build awareness of the important work we do here at Margulies Perruzzi,” said Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal, and senior partner at Margulies Perruzzi. “Their promotions to partner are a public acknowledgment of how important Caitlin and Jenna are to the continued growth of Margulies Perruzzi.”
Caitlin Greenwood, AIA, IIDA
As an architect and project manager, Caitlin brings extensive design experience to the MP team through all phases of design and construction. Caitlin has been with the firm for over 10 years, and is a member of the Workplace, Real Estate, and Science studios, spanning both architecture and interiors. Currently her focus is partnering with MP’s science team members to continue to grow and strengthen the studio. She particularly enjoys working closely with science & technology clients to create a design that is both functional and truly unique to them. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Roger Williams University.
Jenna Meyers, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP
As a senior interior designer, Jenna brings 15 years of extensive design experience to the Margulies Perruzzi team, contributing her strengths in design development, programming, project management, and coordination. As a Workplace studio leader, she specializes in working closely with clients to create custom-designed spaces, reflecting their unique brand, mission, and culture. She has worked on projects for clients such as Fresenius, United Way, and Zipcar. Jenna has been influential in helping develop several workplace strategy reports for the firm. The most recent report focuses on Embracing the Hybrid Workspace. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design from Buffalo State College.
Jess Hamilton is a project manager with Margulies Perruzzi in Boston. Lab Manager recently spoke with Jess about his career, experience, and personal interests.
Q: How did you get started in your career? Did you major in your field in college, get an internship, switch careers mid-stream, etc.?
A: I majored in Architectural Engineering Technology at Wentworth Institute of Technology. While a student, I completed a co-op to receive real world experience, which led to a 13-year employment at a firm that focused on workplace and real estate repositioning. Once I had solid experience established, I decided I wanted a bigger challenge and switched to a focus on the life sciences field by moving to a firm that did exclusively that. While there for four years, I got to work on a variety of lab spaces, mostly for tenants, as well as a repositioning project. I learned a ton about this exciting and quickly growing market sector. I recently joined Margulies Perruzzi to help contribute to our growing life sciences practice.
Q: What is a typical day at work like for you?
A: There is no such thing as a typical day in architecture which is why I enjoy it so much. A few examples of what I do during the workday include having project calls, reviewing drawings, helping to create fit plans, or even getting to enjoy our office’s roof deck on nice days. I can also be out on site for existing conditions surveys or walking spaces under construction to review progress. At least once a week, I enjoy lunches with former coworkers to stay in touch and discuss industry trends or I meet with potential clients.
Q: What lab projects are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently working on two lab projects at Margulies Perruzzi. One is a conversion of a three-story, 90-year-old brick and beam former ice cream factory into a lab and office building in Boston. It’s been challenging to uncover the existing conditions of the building as well as to figure out how to reconfigure the spaces for lab use from office use. Not too far away from that building, I am also working on a project to create a four-story, ground-up lab and office building. The goal of this building is to reflect the surrounding brick and beam buildings while also introducing some modern elements such as curtain walls. We are also looking to use CLT (cross laminated timber) as the floor decks, which has not been done for lab buildings in the Boston area yet. This will look great when it’s complete and be more sustainable than concrete and steel, while still achieving the same vibration and acoustical properties as would steel and concrete.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years in this new position?
A: I want to help Margulies Perruzzi continue to grow in the life science market sector. There are so many exciting projects underway in the Boston area right now that we are seeing new opportunities on a weekly basis. We are continuing to build our portfolio of experience with multiple ground-up and office-to-lab conversion projects as well as various tenant improvement projects in construction that we are excited to see completed soon. It’s been very rewarding to contribute to the companies working to solve many of the current challenges to cure diseases and disorders to improve people’s lives.
Q: If you won a million-dollar lottery tomorrow, what would you do with your winnings?
A: I would spend half on investing in real estate and look to spend the rest on an investment into the Boston Public Schools. Both my daughter and son are enrolled there. There are so many needs throughout the school system so the money could be used to make a difference for some of Boston’s kids.