Civic and cultural projects to anchor South Boston’s Innovation District
A new public space, dining facilities, and a war memorial honoring the men and women who served their country and lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be the center of a new neighborhood rapidly developing along South Boston’s waterfront. Called Seaport Square, the project is envisioned as a 24-7 thriving world class civic space that will attract office workers, residents, shoppers and tourists to the already bustling Seaport District.
Surrounded by millions of square feet of new development, Seaport Square will have four major elements: a new public square designed by Reed Hildebrand; a District Hall and Dining Pavilion designed by Hacin + Associates; and the Fallen Heroes War Memorial designed by James Carpenter. Together, these elements will anchor the emerging waterfront district, connecting the new neighborhood to the water and to the Institute of Contemporary Art, a new public marina, bike-sharing and new transit stops.
Reed Hildebrand’s Seaport Square is the main civic space of the project. Located in middle of the Innovation District, it features a series of walks and promenades, outdoor dining areas, event spaces, and casual gathering areas with plantings that will reinforce connections to the city streets and to the adjacent Fan Pier Park. A continuous grove of shade trees will define the promenades and seating areas, utilizing state-of-the-art planting technologies to insure the long-term health and sustainability of the canopy in the harsh coastal environment.
Sited at the district’s western edge of the new neighborhood, is District Hall, a 12,000 sq ft free-standing pavilion that will be a ‘first of its kind’ public innovation center. Recently opened in November 2013, District Hall offers space for promising companies to meet and exchange ideas and to host social events. It features a restaurant, a flexbile 250-seat assembly space, a gathering space with lounge seating and worktables, and several flexible spaces to support a variety of uses, including pop-up retail, meetings, classes and exhibitions.
At the eastern edge of the project is the new Dining Pavilion, a 10,000 sq ft food hall with a 100-seat dining area and a two-storey dining pavilion. It features a large green outdoor deck overlooking the square and the harbour beyond. The Fallen Heroes Memorial is envisioned as the focal point of the project and a beacon that can be seen from Boston Harbour and points beyond. The Memorial is a tapering, five-sided translucent form that will rise above the treetops. The form’s geometry appears to rotate to its apex before folding in and tapering into itself. The twined veils of the Memorial’s surfaces present an engaging sense of light both day and night.
Built by Boston Global Investors and phased in over time, Seaport Square is a 23-acre urban infill development and the largest masterplanning effort in Boston in some time. The project is targeting LEED Gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. Construction of the initial projects got underway in December 2013.