Streetsense was engaged by real estate development company Northland to guide the vision for their flagship mixed-use neighborhood in Newton, Massachusetts. Centered around the historic Saco Pettee Mill, Pattern District is where stories of the past and the promise of the future converge.
Our team—which consisted of members across Streetsense’s Brand & Marketing, Interior Architecture, and Place Consulting studios—collaborated with base building architects Stantec and Cube3 as well as landscape architects SOM to craft an integrated brand and public space vision for the ground plane. By developing the community’s core principles and pillars, the team could clarify the purpose and character of each zone while simultaneously calibrating different dynamics across the neighborhood.
With the goal of reviving a “Main Street spirit,” the Streetsense team identified key placemaking opportunities and developed design guidelines for public spaces and retail storefronts. Walkability, locally relevant storytelling elements, naturally inspired design, and a multigenerational, multimodal lifestyle were prioritized in a layered, textured vision.
A goal was to modulate activity across the project and create public spaces that complement rather than compete with one another. Efforts include design of the central open space, maximizing flexibility for year-round events, and creating a shared space that could accommodate for outdoor dining and events. The design of the central space also was optimized to frame the original brick mill building as a backdrop to the site’s past.
The Pattern District master brand brings together Newton’s textile past and history of innovation with the emerging creative energy of a new mixed-used district. Genuinely welcoming and seamlessly woven into the heart of the city, this is where people and generations come together, where merchants shine among homes and workplaces, and where vibrant green spaces spur a sustainable, dynamic future.
In addition to developing the master Pattern District master brand, Streetsense developed six residential building sub-brands.
We explored numerous options for brand architecture, and ultimately created a portfolio of residences with their own unique names, visual identities, and memorable stories rooted in local history.
Streetsense developed an interpretive signage program throughout the site to tell the story of Pattern District, past and present, by highlighting key facts, figures, and landmarks. Each of these signage moments is rooted in the overall brand, customized to its setting, and considerate of various ages and audiences.
Goals of the signage include revealing the relationships between the historic, cultural, and natural heritage of the site; designing a multifaceted narrative environment calibrated for a variety of learning styles and contexts; and channeling Pattern District’s innovative spirit and thoughtful approach to cultivating community.
Streetsense presented the interpretive signage strategy to the Newton Historical Commission.
Key early efforts hinged on creating points of distinction and identifying appropriate programming for the various open spaces within the project, which had theretofore been mostly undifferentiated. Streetsense also envisioned the neighborhood’s commercial core with storefront design concepts for each building, including ground-floor retail as well as a small retail kiosk at the project’s “Main and Main” intersection.
The team’s holistic strategy ultimately informed the development of the community’s individual building brands and site-wide wayfinding and interpretive signage. Our brand engagement extended to the development of an offering memorandum complete with digital brochure, branded collateral, and bespoke iPad packaging.
Developing an economically sustainable retail revitalization strategy for Detroit
A new look and feel for a leader in wellness
Established international favorite incorporating local flare across multiple international locations