Located on the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Culbert Street in Mattapan, 1471 Blue Hill Avenue is a transit-oriented residential development containing 41 all-affordable apartment units, a community retail space, and residential amenities. Arrowstreet designed the five-story building to relate to the urban scale, taking advantage of an extreme grade change across the site to step the building down to the adjacent residential buildings. The massing and form of the building were shaped by a desire to preserve trees on the site, maintaining a green “ribbon” that wraps the site and connects the urban tree canopy up to Hunt Almont Park, helping to address an area of the city that has been disproportionately affected by the urban heat islands.

In addition to providing affordable housing, this project aims to set a new standard for sustainability in residential design. The building is all-electric, zero-net carbon, pursuing passive house certification, and incorporates both Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) as well as rooftop solar panels. Initial estimates indicate that the rooftop and façade mounted solar panels will cover over 40% of on-site electricity usage per year. The building will also be LEED Silver certifiable.

The landscape design for the project transforms the vacant and underutilized site into a park-like amenity for the surrounding community, featuring a public pocket park and a rooftop community garden for residents. The project also includes plans to improve a city owned parcel of land at the corner of Blue Hill Ave. and Culbert Street, transforming a paved parking area into a landscaped area containing native plantings and accessibility upgrades.

This project has been designed in collaboration with PLAN: Mattapan, the community driven city planning initiative for the neighborhood, and has engaged with many civic, community, and advocacy groups during the permitting process. These additional inputs have helped to shape the design of the project, with aims to create a building that is both beautiful and a positive addition to the surrounding community.

Project Details







Architizer A+Awards

Unbuilt Sustainable Residential, Finalist, 2024