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Massachusetts: The Latest Architecture and News

Sasaki Set to Transform Boston City Hall's Historic Plaza

Design practice Sasaki has begun a transformation and renovation of the historic Boston City Hall Plaza. As one of the city's most-used civic spaces, the project aims to make the plaza more welcoming and accessible for everyday life and special occasions. The design team is working with Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston on the seven-acre plan to deliver updated programming capabilities, new infrastructure, and improved sustainability.

Courtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of Sasaki+ 11

Boston's Largest Carbon-Neutral Building Breaks Ground

KPMB Architects and Suffolk recently broke ground on Boston University’s new Center for Computing and Data Sciences. The Center aims to be a striking new addition to Boston University’s central campus and its first new major teaching center in a half-century. As the tallest building at Boston University, the 19-story, 350,000-square-foot structure will bring the institution’s mathematics, statistics and computer science departments under one roof.

Courtesy of KPMB ArchitectsCourtesy of KPMB ArchitectsCourtesy of KPMB ArchitectsCourtesy of KPMB Architects+ 9

Beyond Walls: Payette Lights Up Lynn with Pro Bono Display

Architecture and design studio Payette designed an underpass lighting project for Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn is one of 26 Gateway Cities in Massachusetts, urban centers that anchor regional economies and are facing social and economic challenges. The project brightens and activates with dynamic, colorful and programmable LED lighting installations.

Beyond Walls. Image © Warren Jagger PhotographyBeyond Walls. Image © Warren Jagger PhotographyBeyond Walls. Image © Warren Jagger PhotographyBeyond Walls. Image © Warren Jagger Photography+ 8

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Linde Center Opens at Tanglewood

© Robert Benson© Robert Benson© Robert Benson© Robert Benson+ 14

The new Linde Center for Music by William Rawn Associates has opened at the Tanglewood music venue in western Massachusetts. As the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood welcomes its first new performance facility in 25 years. The Linde Center was designed to provide additional concert and rehearsal space and create a truly multi-season facility.

Perkins+Will Design School of the Future for Belmont

Architecture firm Perkins+Will have broken ground on a new middle and high school sited in the Belmont suburb of Boston. The 445,100 SF project is conceived as a flexible and agile environment for learning that's made to prepare students for jobs in future industries. Emphasizing hands-on learning, the project co-locates students on one campus while encouraging multi-age learning.

Courtesy of Perkins+WillCourtesy of Perkins+WillCourtesy of Perkins+WillCourtesy of Perkins+Will+ 13

WOJR Explores Symmetry in House of the Woodland

Cambridge-based design practice WOJR has designed House of the Woodland, a pyramidal house grounded in framing and symmetry. Designed around rituals of respite, the project utilizes a nine-square grid structuring four plywood trusses resting atop eight cinder block walls. Sited in the Berkshires, the design makes its grid organization visible through the roof's large-scale coffers. The project explores a series of dichotomies through materials, space and form.

House of the Woodland. Image Courtesy of D-RenderHouse of the Woodland. Image Courtesy of D-RenderHouse of the Woodland. Image Courtesy of D-RenderHouse of the Woodland. Image Courtesy of D-Render+ 20

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Revitalizes Boston's Commonwealth Pier through Adaptive Reuse

Schmidt Hammer Lassen has announced details of their second U.S. project: the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts. An adaptive reuse project that will bring new life to Boston’s Commonwealth Pier, the 68,500-square-meter mixed-use project seeks to reactivate a historic maritime hub to create a new waterfront destination.

The largest pier building in the world when completed in 1901, the Commonwealth Pier will be reactivated with the introduction of new materials, increased daylight, and new points of connectivity. The exercise in adaptive reuse will contain flexible office space, dynamic event space, new retail, dining, and public amenities.

Boston City Hall Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Prepares for Major Renovation

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Boston City Hall in 1969, the brutalist icon is set to receive a major renovation by Utile Architecture + Planning and Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects. The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture has already begun a series of small changes and updates to the building with the hope of bringing new life to the commanding structure.

Boston City Hall. Image Courtesy of Utile and Reed HilderbrandBoston City Hall. Image Courtesy of Utile and Reed HilderbrandBoston City Hall. Image © Felix Mizioznikov, ShutterstockBoston City Hall. Image Courtesy of Utile and Reed Hilderbrand+ 7

Adjaye, MASS Design Group and Shonibare Among 5 Finalists for Boston's MLK Memorial

Nonprofit MLK Boston has released the final five designs for a monument to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The finalists include a range of offices like Adjaye Associates, Maryann Thompson Architects and MASS Design Group, as well as artists like Yinka Shonibare, Barbara Chase-Riboud and Walter Hood. As reported by Curbed Boston, the city is working with MLK Boston to make the monument part of a larger initiative that includes an educational center in Roxbury and $1 million endowment for programming related to the Kings.

The Embrace. Image Courtesy of MASS Design Group and Hank Willis ThomasAvenue of Peace. Image Courtesy of Yinka ShonibareBoston’s King Memorial. Image Courtesy of Adam Pendleton, Adjaye Associates, Future\Pace, and David ReinfurtEmpty Pulpit Monument. Image Courtesy of Barbara Chase-Riboud+ 14

Boston's Tallest Residential Tower Tops Out, Designed by Pei Cobb Freed

© Four Seasons One Dalton
© Four Seasons One Dalton

The Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston’s tallest residential building, has reached its full height of 742 feet, forming a significant presence on the Boston skyline. Designed by Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, in collaboration with Cambridge Seven Architects, the 61-story scheme features 160 residences, a five-star hotel, and an adjacent park.

Cobb’s design for One Dalton comes 40 years after he designed another noted Boston landmark, the John Hancock Tower.

© Conor Doherty© Four Seasons One Dalton© Kwesi Arthur of Cambridge Seven Associates© Four Seasons One Dalton+ 10

Massachusetts' LEED Platinum Award Winning Arena Named US' Most Environmentally Sustainable

Massachusetts’ Bentley University Arena together with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) have earned the LEED Platinum certification and was named the most environmentally sustainable arena in the United States. The 76,000 square foot arena emphasizes the university’s commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and goal to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030. Bentley Unversity also offers a major in Sustainability Science and a program that will reduce more than 270 tons of material waste per year. This arena hosts several university events such as concerts, alumni events, career fairs, and is home to its NCAA Division I hockey team.

Courtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouse+ 5

Bruce C. Bolling Building by Mecanoo and Sasaki Wins 2017 Harleston Parker Medal

The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) has announced announced Mecanoo and Sasaki as the winners of the 2016 Harleston Parker Medal for their design of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building. Awarded each year by the BSA and the City of Boston, the prestigious award honors “the single most beautiful” building or structure built in the metropolitan Boston area over the past 10 years.

The Unexpected Stories Behind 10 Skyscrapers That Were Actually Built

As long as there have been buildings mankind has sought to construct its way to the heavens. From stone pyramids to steel skyscrapers, successive generations of designers have devised ever more innovative ways to push the vertical boundaries of architecture. Whether stone or steel, however, each attempt to reach unprecedented heights has represented a vast undertaking in terms of both materials and labor – and the more complex the project, the greater the chance for things to go awry.

Ryugyong Hotel. Image © José Tomás FrancoRobot Building. Image © José Tomás FrancoCCTV Headquarters. Image © José Tomás FrancoCayan Tower. Image © José Tomás Franco+ 21

Ennead Architects Breaks Ground on Expansion of the United States' Oldest Museum

Ennead Architects has broken ground on the construction of an addition to the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, the country’s oldest continuously operating museum (since 1799).

The expansion project includes a new 40,000 square foot wing and 17,500 square feet of renovation to adjacent structures. Upon completion, total gallery space will be increased by 15% for a total of 100,000 square feet, making the Peabody Essex into one of the top 20 art museums in the country.

South Atrium. Image Courtesy of Ennead ArchitectsEntrance. Image Courtesy of Ennead ArchitectsEast Atrium. Image Courtesy of Ennead ArchitectsBridge. Image Courtesy of Ennead Architects+ 6

Massachusetts College of Art and Design Architecture Program Supports Social Good

These days architecture is both a weapon and a victim of intolerance. Historic buildings are destroyed for what they symbolize, and there are calls for the building of walls and the construction of refugee cities. These actions are symptoms of the global preoccupation with the fear of others and the attempt to keep people “out.” The Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) community rejects these injustices and has built the architecture department on the principle that the purpose of architecture is to support the social good.

Steven Holl to Design a Program and Masterplan Study for Williams College

Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has been commissioned by Williams College to complete a program and masterplan study for the Williams College Department of Art and Museum of Art (WCMA). "The Master Plan aims to evaluate programming and space needs toward the determination of a program to catalyze the engagement of students, faculty and visitors with the visual arts," says SHA.

After talking with nearly 30 distinct groups of students, faculty and museum staff, SHA defined five main goals in which the study is based on:

Gluckman Tang to Design Two New Art Museums in Massachusetts

Gluckman Tang Architects has been selected to design two new museums in North Adams, Massachusetts: the 160,000-square-foot Global Contemporary Art Museum (GCAM) and 32,400-square-feet Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum.

Built as a 700-foot-long addition to two historic freight depots in Western Gateway Heritage State Park, the Extreme Model Railroad museum will house one of the world’s largest collections of working O-scale model trains, moving through a trainscape designed by world-class architects, including Frank Gehry, Gluckman Tang, and Zaha Hadid.