Studio Luz Architecture and Urban Design

Lynn Viaducts

Lynn, MA

Public Realm Planning Study and Community Engagement, 10,307 SF
Completion: 2022

Project Overview

This planning study for the Lynn Viaducts identifies future programming and architectural needs for the currently underutilized space within the viaducts. The city’s preliminary goals for the project are to support aspiring entrepreneurs and artisans, improve the public realm in Central Square, and transform the viaducts into a regional destination. A comprehensive community engagement process included in person and asynchronous outreach that built upon city wide initiatives to support economic recovery and the revitalization of the downtown cultural district through public art and placemaking projects.

Project Team

Hansy Better Barraza
Anthony J. Piermarini
Sophie Nahrmann
Kaitlin Pettenger
Andres Jimenez
Joshua Ssebuwufu


MassDevelopment TDI


City of Lynn



An in-depth community engagement process helped guide this study for reprogramming the Lynn Viaducts, which was also informed by recent citywide planning initiatives. One in-person community workshop at the Lynn Museum was complemented by a public survey hosted by the City of Lynn to engage community members and stakeholders and ensure that a diversity of perspectives could be heard.



Promoting a combination of food/dining, retail and institutional programming will allow for a range of community cultural events, dining destinations, and retail destinations creating an ecosystem of community activity. Complementing the planned MBTA improvements, recommendations suggest a variety of self contained programming options to be harmonious with the existing program of the central business district.



Connecting to the Lynn Cultural District Recovery Plan, the revitalization of the Viaducts considers how activation of the underutilized space within the viaducts can support recovery efforts, and promote existing and new businesses in the area. Acknowledging the history of the site and maintaining the industrial character of Lynn, our design proposes utilizing placemaking and adaptive reuse to increase foot traffic in the area and create a more vibrant fabric.

About the Planning Study

Studio Luz was engaged for design assistance by MassDevelopment TDI to undergo a planning study to revitalize the vacant viaduct structure in Lynn. Acting as a technical architect, Studio Luz worked with MassDevelopment TDI and the City of Lynn to identify future programming and the architectural needs for the viaducts as part of improvement discussions with the MBTA.

The Lynn Viaduct Planning Study envisions the revitalization of the Lynn Viaducts into a community asset to support aspiring entrepreneurs and artisans, improves the public realm in Central Square, and transforms the viaducts into a regional destination. Originally used as storefronts for businesses, the Lynn Viaducts are currently under utilized as a public asset. Planned MBTA improvements and the Lynn Cultural District Recovery Plan made this the prime opportunity for revitalization and implementation of community engagement.

Studio Luz facilitated an in-depth community engagement process to serve as the underpinning for the reprogramming of the Lynn Viaducts. The team engaged community members and stakeholders by holding an in-person community workshop at the Lynn Museum and conducting an asynchronous public survey hosted by the City of Lynn. The proposed programming aligns with community feedback with the shell space conditions provided by the MBTA. Portable and/or flexible structures provide multiple opportunities for programs such as market halls, retail incubator spaces, pop-up food vendors, a community resource center, art galleries, intergenerational recreational spaces, and art studios and exhibition spaces. With activation spilling into the square, the space strives to be a welcoming hub easily accessible to the community.