A FEW MINUTES WITH B.K. BOLEY OF STANTEC, A VALUED CONSULTANT OF CORE INVESTMENTS, INC.
B.K. Boley is with Stantec, a global architecture and design firm with a Boston office that works with Core Investments, Inc. on the developing On the Dot neighborhood in South Boston and other projects.
What is your position at Stantec?
I’m a Senior Principal and Northeast Regional Design Director.
How many people does Stantec have in Boston.
In architecture and design, about 140. In urban places, civil engineering, project management and landscape, another 85.
How long has Stantec worked with Core?
I think it’s about five years now. John Cissel [President of Core Development] had reached out to me through a mutual acquaintance.
What does Stantec do for Core Investments?
We do master planning, site studies for pre-purchase, architecture and interior design primarily.
Do you work on multiple projects?
Yes, the scale of projects ranges from renovations, retrofits, and interior design right up to large-scale site planning for different locations around the city. For On the Dot [Core Investments’ 20-plus acres of formerly industrial property where a new mixed-use neighborhood is being planned] we are doing the master planning, permitting, and phase one lab building design for the first three buildings.
How many people at Stantec work on the Core account?
It ranges from 5 to 15, depending upon the project and the schedules. We have a core team that supports the client from a technical, design vision and organizational framework. And they in turn are supported by other experts in the office who fill out the existing teams or create new teams depending on the project type and situation. They include additional architects, interior designers, technical experts, lab planners, renderers, and so forth.
What is your particular role?
I’m the Principal-in-Charge and Overall Design lead. We have spectacular designers and architects working on every job, so I act as the inspirational leader of a high-performance team, contributing and guiding but also allowing creative exploration, responsibility and professional expertise to grow and flourish. Our office design pyramid is a strong but broad-based team structure where everyone including the client and consultant team is an author and contributes to the best design idea and execution for each project based on the conceptual design vision. We as a larger group have chosen from a large array of creative options.
B.K., what is your background?
I was a Principal at ADD Inc. for 20 years. Before joining in 1997, I was in Europe working as an architect with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano in Genoa, Italy. My wife Tamara [Tamara Roy, former President of the Boston Society of Architects and also a Principal at Stantec] worked at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop as well. We were both doing post-graduate studies in Holland at a Dutch-funded urban design and architecture think tank called the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. At the time, there were 16 participants accepted worldwide per year with a preferred maximum of two per country. Thirty-two participants in in a given year. We were “the Americans,” and with an amazing group of young architects and urban designers from around the world we had a terrific time doing theoretical work for cities, towns and institutions in Europe. We lived in Holland for almost three years and our son Teo, named after Vincent Van Gogh’s older brother, was born in Amsterdam. And we are thrilled that he has followed his namesake’s footsteps and has been so supportive of his younger sister Via, also an artist and painter. My wife and I met at Carnegie-Mellon Architecture School on Pittsburgh, and we moved to Boston the late 1980s.
Do you speak Dutch?
We both speak a little Dutch and love the country!
What’s interesting about working on Core’s projects?
The most interesting thing is that Core’s vision and team are so closely tied to community building and connecting with the neighborhood. They are dedicated to helping the communities they are working in. They believe in creating open space, community space and lovely tree-lines streets and parks. That for us is one of the most interesting things about working with them. They trust their professionals and rely on them as important partners in the overall process. We and I feel personally connected to Dave [Dave Pogorelc, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Core] because he has vision and a genuine belief that everything we do is to bring people together. Our projects are always better when we work with someone who has a vision and is aspirational in their approach.
And where did you grow up?
I grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, then in upstate New York.
Where do you live now?
South Boston. Two blocks from the [On the Dot] site. We came back from Europe and lived in Cambridge. Then we moved to Arlington for 20-some years. When the kids went off to college we moved back to Boston so we could walk to work.
What do you do to have fun when you’re not working?
I golf, garden, love to go to the beach, and work on cars. I used to track cars but I’ve toned that down a bit because the cost and risk that seem to go up quickly the better you get. I have a beautiful 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera with a somewhat souped-up engine and suspension. That’s what I would take on the track, but now she spends more time going a maximum of 45 miles an hour on Martha’s Vineyard than she does going 130 mph on Palmer Raceway. I think she’s pissed I’m putting her into an early racetrack retirement.
What’s a favorite place of yours in the Boston area?
We love South Boston but also the North End and the Fenway Area including the Museum of Fine Arts. We also like Mass College of Art, a lovely institution where our daughter went to school and where we designed the Treehouse Residence Hall, an exuberant 20-story-tall building that was one of three finalists for the Best Tall Building in the Americas in 2013. We have both sat on different advisory boards there, and Tamara was teaching architecture there until last year.