Every Summer Has a Story

Poland | TBD

studioMLA Architects met Jon Mills and Monika Wozniak at the World Forum conference in Panama City in May 2023, where they gave a presentation on the work they have been doing in Poland implementing SPYNKA programs supported by the Comenius Foundation since April 2022. SPRYNKAs are “nurture-based early childhood education and care programs for Ukrainian families” who fled to Poland for safety after the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. SPYNKA uses many available spaces that they retrofit as classrooms to provide full-time child care for Ukrainian mothers who need a safe place to care for their traumatized children while they are at work. Since May, our firm has partnered with SPYNKA to help define their design guidelines and a preferably replicable model plan for early education centers such as a SPYNKA In-a-Box type of structure. Currently working on the design guidelines, we are integrating the SPYNKA early education guidelines, floor plans, and other documentation with studioMLA Architects’ design expertise and recent experience with Trauma-informed Design to help inform and identify ongoing improvements for the program’s built environment.

SPYNKA Preschool classroom perspective

Brookline Teen Center, Master Plan
Brookline, MA | Fall 2023

Now a decade into its life, the Brookline Teen Center is growing and evolving to meet the needs of the teens who use the facility daily. In addition to updating the existing spaces, they have retaken control of the Lower Level and plan to develop it as a middle school space. As a critical first step in the design process, the Master Plan creates a framework that outlines the collection of potential interventions across all levels of the facility.

Brookline Teen Center Perspective

Boston Community Pediatrics, Phase II Opening
Boston, MA | October 12, 2023

Boston Community Pediatrics is the first nonprofit private pediatric practice in Boston, working to bring equitable pediatric healthcare to the area. In 2020, studioMLA Architects completed Phase I of their project. Since being open, they have blossomed in their space so much they need more! In creating more space, we expanded to the lower floor of their building.

Boston Community Pediatrics Art Installation

Recently Completed Projects

Massachusetts Department of Children & Family Services
Beta Version Completed: June 2023

We have been engaged to work with the Department of Children & Families to develop a Trauma-informed Design (TiD) toolkit that can help ensure their physical spaces align with the department’s values and goals. TiD is a new and developing field and has rarely been applied to public child welfare spaces, positioning this project squarely on the cutting edge. studioMLA Architects has worked to leverage research in trauma, Trauma-informed Care (TiC), and our experience in designing for children and families to develop a framework for TiD in DCF’s 29 area offices. With the Beta Version being completed this Summer, we are now working towards iterative feedback to issue the complete version in the future.Trauma-informed Design Principles

Boston Collegiate Charter School & City on a Hill Charter School
Dorchester, MA & Roxbury, MA | Completed: September 2023

studioMLA Architects completed to Charter School projects, The Boston Collegiate Charter School (BCCS) and City on a Hill Charter School (COAH). BCCS project consisted of an expansion of the campus to include the 21 Mayhew Street Parcel to repurpose for outdoor educational space, accessory parking for the BCCS facilities, and to relieve parking demand on the City streets. COAH project consisted of expanding their classroom and office capacity within their current footprint. Through a combination of operable walls and creative redistribution of space, we were able to achieve their growing needs.

Outdoor classroom, landscape renovation

For Kids Only Afterschool Playground
Winthrop, MA | Completed: August 2023

For Kids Only Afterschool expanded their Center with a building expansion. However, there was no playground. studioMLA Architects designed a playground to complement and reflect the quality of the newly expanded For Kids Afterschool center.

Kids playing in a playground

John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Cambridge, MA | Completed: September 2023

The new Volpe Transportation Systems Center in Kendall Square in Cambridge, the result of a decade long planning and deal between MIT and the federal government, opened its doors in September 2023. The Volpe Center was one of the first federal buildings to offer on-site daycare. studioMLA Architect designed the brand new, state-of-the-art child care center within the new Volpe Center that will accommodate up to 62 children of employees.

Volpe Child Care Center

Community Involvement

The Brookline Fund to Increase Diversity in Architecture & Design

This summer, Brookline High School student, Sarah Fung, participated in our three-pronged program, shadowing designers in our office, attending the Boston Architectural College (BAC) summer academy program tuition-free, and completing a paid internship at our firm!

Brookline Fund Intern 2023

Upcoming Conferences

NAEYC Annual Conference
Nashville, TN | November 14 – 18, 2023

As an exhibitor sponsor for NAEYC Annual Conference Community Playthings has invited Mike Lindstrom and Carl Sussman, an organizational expert in child care finance and facilities, to hold s spotlight session at this year’s conference. They will be presenting “The Physical Environment’s Role in Promoting Quality and Equality: A Framework for Change.” If you will be attending the NAEYC Annual Conference, let us know! We’ll come and say hi!

Early Learning Architectural Conference
Pierce County, WA | January 22, 2024

As part of first5FUNdamentals, Mike Lindstrom and Joanne Hiromura will be presenting  the latest thinking and work in the fast-evolving field of Trauma-informed Design (TiD) with a focus on vulnerable populations of young children and their social and emotional development.

TCCAC Webinar
Remote | January 2024

Our firm will be presenting for Tribal Child Care Association of California (TCCAC) to provide clarity for tribal members. Based on conversations with community members, we will be dicussing major vs minor renovation, construction resources, and modular construction/process.