Thorndike, MA Smart Growth Design Competition           

”People’s Choice Winner”


This was a design competition sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in Massachusetts to encourage and develop Smart Growth in the region. The site, a village within Palmer, MA, was once a thriving mill, currently a run-down defunct egg carton manufacturer. By redefining the entire complex, while utilizing existing structures, the design establishes Thorndike as a multi-faceted, historic, but ultra-modern hub of community activity. Structural changes and contemporary thinking combine to enable an extensive variety of opportunities for meeting current needs, with a focus on long-term challenges. Creative planning for reuse of all but two of the buildings, sensitive and informed resource management, cutting edge technologies, artistic visions and innovative funding come together to aid in nudging the old mill out of its derelict past into a fit and vibrant future, using available indigenous construction materials, existing aesthetic vernacular, and the plentiful large spaces.

The renovation plans for these sites reflect well-designed applications of reuse, mixed-use and conservation principles. They honor the vernacular of traditional neighborhoods in the architectural development, designate open space, create walkable neighborhoods with connecting pathways, employ sustainable essentials, take advantage of smart parking, provide educational and vocational opportunities, and enable commercial variety.