Boston Mayor Appoints Three Architects as New Commissioners to Boston Civic Design Commission

Andrea Leers

BOSTON – Mayor Martin J. Walsh has appointed Eric Howeler, Mikyoung Kim and Anne-Marie Lubenau to serve as commissioners to the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC). Andrea Leers, who has served as commissioner to the BCDC, has been appointed to serve as Chair of the commission.

“We are excited for Eric, Mikyoung and Anne-Marie to join us as they begin in their roles as commissioners, and we congratulate Andrea for her new role as Chair of the BCDC,” said Mayor Walsh. “I look forward to the new ideas and insights they will bring.”

The BCDC, managed by the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s Urban Design Department, is charged with examining the aesthetics of proposed development projects and ensuring that the projects have a positive impact on Boston’s public realm.

Eric Höweler, AIA is an architect, designer, educator, and founding principal of Höweler + Yoon Architecture, which he founded in 2005 with J. Meejin Yoon. Prior to forming Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Höweler was a senior designer at Diller Scofidio + Renfro and an associate principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Höweler is currently an associate professor in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His design work and research investigates the intersections between architecture and building technologies with a focus on envelopes and material systems. Höweler has been widely recognized for his innovative and interdisciplinary work. He is author of, “Skyscraper, Vertical Now,” and co-author of, “1,001 Skyscrapers.” Höweler received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with the AIA Henry Adams Certificate and a Masters of Architecture from Cornell University.

Mikyoung Kim, FASLA is an international landscape architect and urban designer, as well as the founding principal of Mikyoung Kim Design. This year, her firm has been awarded the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum National Design Award and she is the recipient of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ National Design Medal. With a uniquely holistic approach, her firm’s exceptional body of work has redefined the discipline of landscape architecture, inhabiting the intersection of art and science. From the art of ecology and restorative landscapes, Mikyoung Kim Design’s work addresses the most pressing environmental and health-related issues, while creating innovative and immersive human experiences. The firm’s work has been highlighted in numerous publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Guardian Newspaper, National Geographic, Dwell Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. Kim was named as an AD innovator by Architectural Digest and her firm has received numerous national awards from the ASLA, American Architecture Prize, AIA and GSA. Her life’s work is featured in the Smithsonian Museum American Voices Collection.

Anne-Marie Lubenau, FAIA is director of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence at the Bruner Foundation in Cambridge. She oversees a national design award program that recognizes transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of cities. Prior to joining the Bruner Foundation, Lubenau was President and CEO of the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh and worked in architectural firms in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Lubenau’s practice includes work within small and large architectural firms, academic institutions, nonprofits, and philanthropy. She has taught urban design at Carnegie Mellon University and has been a guest lecturer and design critic at Harvard, MIT, and Yale. She is vice chair of the Boston Society of Architects Foundation board of trustees and serves on the Harvard GSD Alumni Council and Wentworth Design Professionals Advisory Council. Lubenau is a registered architect and was elected into the AIA College of Fellows in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon and was a 2011/2012 Harvard Loeb Fellow. Anne-Marie also served in an advisory capacity on Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan released in 2016.

Andrea Leers, FAIA, has been appointed BCDC Chairwoman. First appointed to the BCDC in 2007, Andrea Leers is a Principal and co-founder of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, a Boston-based practice focused on the intersection of architecture, urban design, and infrastructure and is notable for its inventiveness in dramatically complex projects. In December 2006, Leers became the first woman owner of a practice to receive the American Institute of Architecture Firm Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is former Director of the Master in Urban Design Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she was Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Urban Design from 2001 to 2011. Ms. Leers holds an undergraduate degree in art history from Wellesley College, and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts.

The Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) provides a forum for the general public and professional design community to participate in the shaping of the city’s physical form and natural environment. Members of the Commission are seasoned design professionals with a deep understanding of local context.

The BCDC holds public meetings on the first Tuesday of every month, and the public is encouraged to attend. The BCDC review criteria include:

  • New or rehabilitated structures over 100,000 square feet;
  • Projects of special significance or projects that, by the determination of the BCDC members, will have a special urban design significance in the City;
  • Civic projects involving changes to parks, civic or cultural centers or monuments;
  • And district design guidelines to be adopted by the BPDA. This may include Planned Development Areas (PDAs), Institutional Master Plans (IMPs), and certain Planning documents generated to guide development in Boston’s neighborhoods.