Juan Torres, 2017
Fellowship: The Community Builders
Graduate School: Wentworth

Fellow Profile

Please tell us a little about your background and what drove you to apply to be a Kuehn Fellow.

I grew up in Kimberly, Idaho after moving there at the age of two from Mexico. Being from a small town I was always fascinated with urban centers and early on knew I wanted to study in Boston. I applied to the Kuehn Fellowship because I strongly believe people of all incomes should have the opportunity to live in communities of their choosing.

Now at your host organization, what are you working on?

I’m currently working on 125 Amory Street and 250 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. 125 Amory consists of an occupied rehab of 199 units with primarily elderly and disabled persons. The project also has additional phases of new construction, mixed-income buildings. 250 Centre Street is a transit oriented, mixed income development located across the street from Jackson Square station.

Is there anything you’ve seen/experienced that challenged or surprised you?

I understood that affordable housing was a difficult and complex field. I was surprised with the politics and underlying forces that exist in our field. There are many different entities that are pulling at and influencing your project. I’ve learned the importance of being flexible and reacting effectively.

Anything else you’d like to add about your experience as a Kuehn Fellow?

I’ve always been interested in housing and multi-family developments. During college, my favorite projects were always the housing design studios. I thought the biggest impact I could have was solely through design. The Kuehn Fellowship has completely redirected my career and approach on the topic and feel that I have an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to affordable housing.

Torres, Juan