Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) announced this week it has selected STUDIOENÉE architects (STUDIO ENÉE) and Ann Beha Architects (ABA) to design its new multi-purpose community arts center at 85 West Newton Street next to O’Day Park.
The two Boston-based architects are joining forces for this project, combining their decades of experience designing leading civic, academic and cultural spaces in Boston and across the nation.
“STUDIO ENÉE and ABA are the perfect partners to design this new center, which will be a space for our neighborhood and for residents throughout Greater Boston to gather, share, collaborate and create,” said Dr. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, CEO at IBA. “We are thrilled to be working with a design team that shares our commitment to incorporating diverse perspectives as we create a beautiful space that both honors the deep history of the former Villa Victoria Center for the Arts and embraces our vision for a cultural center that is custom-built to serve the specific needs of our community now and as we grow.”
With award-winning portfolios of sustainable, community-oriented cultural spaces, both STUDIO ENÉE and ABA bring to the 85 West Newton project a profound respect for IBA’s mission and for the history of the site as a cultural hub for the South End and Greater Boston Latinx communities. This diverse, Latinx and women-led design team will help bring to life IBA’s vision for the space as a center that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of the South End, empowers IBA’s residents and neighbors, anticipates the future needs of IBA and the community, and is accessible to all.
“The project has a profound significance to Boston and the Latinx community,” Natasha Espada AIA, STUDIO ENÉE Principal, and Ann Beha FAIA, ABA Principal, wrote in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with the community, the city and IBA leaders to create a visionary arts and cultural center in Boston’s South End to support this diverse community.”
For years, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts served as a place of expression, learning and celebration, hosting everything from weddings and quinceañeros to political conventions and arts performances. STUDIO ENÉE and ABA are committed to creating a space that allows IBA to expand upon this legacy, incorporating diverse voices and uses at every step of the design process. The former Center for the Arts, which was originally a German Lutheran Church, was condemned two years ago during a renovation project and had to be demolished earlier this