KPF Unveils High Performance and Resilient Tower in Boston

KPF and the Chiofaro Company have released images of their latest project The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, a high performance and resilient mixed-use development on the Boston Harbor waterfront. Aiming to reconnect Downtown Boston to the waterfront, the project also puts in place a new public space.

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Kohn Pedersen Fox imagined a project that will replace a 7-story parking garage that used to occupy the entire plot. In fact, the proposed scheme gives back to the public half of the previously inaccessible area. Being the first Downtown Waterfront project to implement Boston’s new climate-conscious development mandates, the Pinnacle incorporates sustainable and resilient design elements and aims to “minimize its environmental impact and improve the health and wellbeing of the community it serves”.


For the Pinnacle at Central Wharf, we worked hard to create a form that responds to the city of Boston, […] The building’s elegant rounded composition steps back in a series of scaled stacked volumes. Its massing is emphasized by the façade’s simple vertical expression, which also diffuses sunlight and wind for a more comfortable experience at the ground plane. Dramatic openings at the base activate the area’s newfound public space and participate in a contextual dialogue of entry along Atlantic Avenue and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. -- Trent Tesch, Design Principal.


The design of the tower will “reduce shadow impacts and ease pedestrian flow around the building’s base, creating smooth circulation paths and opening view corridors to the water”. In fact, the form can mitigate potential turbulent wind from the water. Creating a new pedestrian corridor, integrated with the proposed “Blueway” vision, the tower’s lower-level will put in place retail spaces and a dynamic plaza. Strong vertical elements of the façade will provide solar shading and natural ventilation in the residential part of the tower.


KPF has been working with The Chiofaro Company at this site for many years. Through the project’s several iterations, the constant theme has been a generous response to the urban fabric with a goal to create a building that is an architectural model of resiliency and sustainability […] We’re proud of the resulting scheme for The Pinnacle and are grateful for the efforts of the City of Boston and all of our collaborators. -- Jorge Mendoza, Managing Director.


Under flood risk, the project’s site, as well as its neighboring entities, will be elevated four feet above its initial level. This will encourage future developments to also follow the same strategy and connect with the project. Aiming for a LEED Gold rating, the collaboration between KPF, The Chiofaro Company, and consulting teams, took into consideration major efficiency measures like a high-performance envelope, high-efficiency mechanical and ventilation systems, and low-flow and low-consumption plumbing fixtures, among others.

At KPF, we are committed to creating resilient architecture that mitigates its lifecycle impact on environmental resources, and that protects and enhances the wellbeing of surrounding communities […] The Pinnacle at Central Wharf exemplifies these efforts through its holistic approach to energy use and emissions reduction, its façade design, and its significant contributions to a more resilient, active and accessible Boston Harbor waterfront. -- Carlos Cerezo Davila, KPF Environmental Design Director.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "KPF Unveils High Performance and Resilient Tower in Boston " 30 Jan 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884



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