2020 has been an unprecedented year – from the pandemic sweeping across the country to historic protests against social injustice and racism. As we reflect on this exceptionally turbulent year, we also look forward to 2021 with (cautious) optimism and are excited that we, as a firm, will begin the new year by giving back to our community and forming new partnerships.
On Monday January 18th, 2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Payette will host the third annual Day of Service. This event is an exciting opportunity for us to support a variety of community organizations through design excellence, utilizing our staff’s time and creative abilities, and its mission has never felt more critical. This year, 41 staff members from departments throughout the office have volunteered to participate, making up 25% of the firm. The Day of Service also provides a great opportunity for young designers to take on leadership roles on these projects.
This year, we received more proposals than in any other year, and are pleased to announce five projects that we will be working on with Boston area community partners. These projects are located throughout the greater Boston area (see map below) and cover a wide range of design typologies, from urban sustainability to interior space planning to landscape design. We are also happy to support two projects that directly respond to the impact of Covid-19 on local communities.
In any other year, we would be writing to announce the Day of Service Kick-Off meeting being held at our office with all of our 2021 community partners present. As with nearly everything else this year, we have modified our approach and will be hosting an all-virtual Day of Service to ensure the safety of our volunteers and community partners.
Below is a summary of the projects for Payette’s 2021 Day of Service:
Walnut Grove Food Service and Safe Play Improvement Program | Dorchester, MA
Conduct an in-depth design review of the lower level of the ABCD Walnut Grove Head Start & Children’s Services facility to improve safety and efficiency for children, teachers and food service staff.
Creating Safe Spaces for a Greater Number of Homeless Youth | Boston, MA
Study the layout and design of their main headquarters to ensure the program space is adequately utilized to match current needs and consider the feasibility of adding two floors on top of their existing building to allow for future growth.
Creating a Green Innovation Zone in Boston’s Urban Area | Grove Hall, MA
Study the feasibility for establishing a Green Zone, a popular concept in the United States with California having the most, in the Greater Grove Hall area.
Revisioning the Campus at the MABA | Canton, MA
Create a conceptual plan to envision a welcoming, fully accessible outdoor campus designed for people of all ages and abilities, including an innovative nature play area, a boardwalk through the red maple swamp with a blind for artists and photographers and an accessible trail to the vernal pool.
Root Food Insecurity Flexibility Enablement | Salem, MA
Adapt existing Event Space to an area where they could expand their food processing ability to increase output of meals for local community members.
While this year’s Day of Service will certainly feel different from years past, we nevertheless are excited to work with both new and former community partners. Over the course of the next few weeks, we look forward to sharing more about the Day of Service and the design solutions each of our five teams comes up with. Stay tuned!