Project UPDATES:

Construction Three-Week Look-ahead 

Project Milestones

Construction is on schedule to conclude early 2020. Pre-leasing expected to commence summer 2019.

Community Meetings

What is Powder House for Somerville?

Powder House for Somerville is inspired by the community's goals, diversity and vibrancy, and re-imagines the shell of the structure to include commercial, residential and green open spaces that are meant to be cohesive, synergistic and activated. This inclusive urban village sets the form for an inter-generational live-work-educate-inspire-shop-entertain "campus-style" environment.                     

Community MarKa invites the people and organizations that make each community unique to take part in the development of a project from its earliest stages. Developing the social structure of a space in parallel to the physical environment is crucial to creating a place that is engaging and self- sustaining.

Architecture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           MarKa's designs maximize open green space with dense urban environments through the integration of Landscape, Architecture, and Art, the coupling of sustainable construction practices with a commitment to craft, and a passion for environments that encourage human engagement.

MarKa's project is conceived around the idea of green space. Open green space is essential to creating vital urban communities that are socially, psychologically, physically, and nutritionally beneficial for people of all ages and abilities.

MarKa understands art as a vital form of expression that is critical to both defining and strengthening communities. The project is created as a medium for the arts, providing extraordinary opportunities to create and experience art.

Program & Floor plans

Powder House for Somerville achieves 29 out of a possible 39 SomerVision Goals

Incorporating Art into Architecture

a new City of somerville park (MAY 2019 UPDATE below)

Community engagement

Collaborative Living Project:

The Collaborative Living Project (CLP) was initiated in July 2010 by a group of progressive artists, activists, and educators approaching retirement age who had begun to imagine where, how, and with whom they would like to live the rest of their lives. Given the particular experiences of their generation with collective action and alternative lifestyles, CLP members decided that existing retirement facilities and nursing homes were not the places they would choose to end up. CLP choose to stay active and relevant within the urban community.

CLP envisions an intentional community of active participants with as much demographic diversity as possible, who remain engaged in their local community, responsive to broad social and political concerns, and determined to maintain the highest quality of life as they continue to age together.  CLP seeks to develop an innovative and expansive model for aging in place — one in which universal design, green construction, and careful program planning encourage physical activity, community involvement, creative self-expression, inter-generational communication, and access to health and wellness services. It is a community where thoughtful design supports flexible living arrangements, changing circumstances, and a diversity of social functions. 

Artist Community:

The Maker's Space amenity will be a collaborative space for our onsite artist community, as well as visiting artists. The Maker's amenity space shall include a 400 square foot art patio open to the sky and a makers' garden space (4,940 sf) outdoor terrace that is thickly vegetated. 

Artists will be invited in the community to participate in a number of arts including performance art, live arts and installations. Spaces for installations are included throughout including:

Live Mural - This "artscape" is open to anyone who seeks a large canvas to express themselves in the community context. No artist will feel ownership here and the retaining wall for the live mural changes week to week, and month to month.

Amphitheater - This seating area will carve into the landscape, and is oriented to the "Artist Hall" commercial space. It will be constructed to accommodate a large audience and landscape to provide a soft seating area.

Freedom Wall - The Freedom Wall is a platform for open expression from local artists. Once a year, one artist, or a group of artists will   be selected to create a piece of art that is a symbol of the freedom of expression that exemplifies the Somerville community. This piece will be displayed along Broadway for the community to enjoy as they pass by.

Rehabilitation Process

NEIGHBORHOOD MAPS      (Click to enlarge)

Circulation Map                                                                                                                                                   Orientation Map                                                        

Interactive Map



MarKa aims to mitigate construction impact as much as possible throughout the building's transformation process. To the left is a construction staging diagram explaining the construction boundary and access points for public around the site, and workers within the site (click to enlarge).




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