Inside the New SoWa Art + Design Center Complex

Inside the New SoWa Art + Design Center Complex


The 500 Harrison Avenue complicated has emerged as a hub of Boston’s design district.

With uncovered rafters and pipes, there’s an industrial charm to LDa Architecture & Interiors’ new area at 500 Harrison, a creating that was initially built in 1899. / Image by Jessica Delaney

Boston’s SoWa district is acknowledged for the scores of artist studios and galleries that fill its former factories, not to point out weekly markets that attract throngs of buyers and a fleet of meals trucks. But it has not long ago welcomed a bevy of new showrooms, layout studios, and architecture companies, also. A lot of have moved into 500 Harrison Avenue, a setting up that is undergone major renovations considering the fact that suffering hurt from a 2020 water-primary break. Now, developer GTI Homes has rebranded the sophisticated as the SoWa Art + Structure Heart, and—thanks in aspect to facet consequences of the biotech growth in the Seaport and Cambridge—this extend of the South Finish is commencing to really feel like the hub of the city’s design neighborhood.

The newcomers include things like inside designer Charles Spada, who’d expended 25 yrs at the Boston Structure Middle in the Seaport. When new house owners started consolidating showroom place to draw lab tenants to the higher floors, he decided against signing a new lease, rather shifting his trove of antiques, wallcoverings, and other furnishings to 500 Harrison. “It’s become an spot packed with inside layout workplaces, so you have got a ready-made audience,” states Spada, who unveiled his showroom in February 2022. “The potential for creating a new design heart below is quite actual, and I’m happy to be an early element of it.”

LDa’s new studio has sufficient parts for employees to converge for collaboration, as very well as personal assembly areas and offices. / Photograph by Jessica Delaney

Another current arrival, LDa Architecture & Interiors, opened its business office at 500 Harrison in June 2022 right after outgrowing its longtime site in Kendall Square. “There has often been a deep tradition of architecture corporations in Cambridge surrounding MIT and Harvard, but as Kendall grew into a biotech centre, we felt like it was time for a modify,” says LDa principal John Day. “Miami, L.A., and New York all have great style and design neighborhoods. We felt SoWa is effectively on its way.” LDa’s principals hoped the vibrant location would verify a attract for the two shoppers and staff members as the pandemic eased—a program that’s panned out so much. “We get to bump into or discover time to see colleagues, trade associates, and collaborators far more consistently and organically,” Working day says. “Many shoppers use a trip to the workplace as a great reason to keep in the metropolis, have meal or drinks, and get pleasure from the South Conclusion. Staying equipped to stroll to showrooms and galleries is amazing, and the marketplace times and special functions have been a awesome possibility for our group to get together.”

Zhanna Drogobetsky’s Casa Design and style Team, a SoWa mainstay, features contemporary indoor and out of doors home furnishings, lights, and accents by European models. / Photograph by Jessica Delaney

The influx has delighted Zhanna Drogobetsky, owner of Casa Design Team, who opened her initially SoWa home furnishings showroom in 2008 and not too long ago expanded into her eighth area. “I came into the community definitely early on when Mario [Nicosia], our landlord at GTI Qualities, was just acquiring it for artists and gallery house owners,” Drogobetsky states. “Now, with the Layout Heart being smaller sized, we have been in a position to get a lot of people to transfer listed here and create a layout district.” Drogobetsky notes that the density of showrooms, boutiques, and style and design professionals not only tends to make it uncomplicated for shoppers to renovate or furnish an entire house it also delivers businesses possibilities for collaboration. She’s appreciated a long partnership with Susan Lanoue of Lanoue Gallery, who curates the art on display screen in Casa Design and style Group’s showrooms. And she’s teaming up with two new neighbors, the audio brand Bang & Olufsen and cabinetry maker Christopher Peacock, to start an occasion sequence known as Casa Encounters, that includes showroom tours with chef-ready bites and pours from Brix Wine Store throughout the road. Such connections converse to the special strength and character of the neighborhood, Drogobetsky states. “This artist- and style and design-based community—Boston does not have it everywhere else.”

Initially released in the print version of Boston Home’s Spring 2023 issue, with the headline, “Brick & Mortar: By Layout.”