Boston's future cityscape

02 Feb 2010

SHIFTboston calls on architects for their wildest visions

Before a packed auditorium, the finalists of the SHIFTboston Ideas Competition were discussed by a panel composed of local architects Brian Healy and Audrey O’Hagan, joined by Maria Aiolova Co-Founder of Terrefuge and Terreform ONE, NY and Carlo Ratti Director of MIT SENSEable City Lab. Projects presented encompassed a variety of topics ranging from social web technologies, transportation, urban agriculture, energy harvesting and ecological urbanism. The international competition called for ideas from architects, artists, landscape architects and urban designers to unleash their wildest visions for Boston’s public spaces.

The winning team of Sapir Ng and Andrzej Zarzycki were presented with the US$1,000 prize cheque for their idea TUTS: Tremont Underground Theatre Space. Their concept is to transform the abandoned Tremont Street subway tunnels into an interactive cultural space with experiential theatres and immersive digital galleries. While creating a connection between the Orange and Green subway lines, a trolley museum would celebrate the history of the landmark as North America’s oldest subway system.

Two runner-up prizes were awarded to M.Liu and E. Doolittle for Upside Down Radiant City, and to U. Na and S.R. Yoo for The Wall as Infrastructure. Liu and Doolittle envisioned turning Le Corbusier’s Radiant City upside down in Boston Harbour. They proposed that the flat top would be transformed into Boston’s own version of Central Park crisscrossed by a network of paths and overlaid by a grid of streets linking the city’s neighbourhoods. Underneath would hang a new city neighbourhood. The entire urban structure would supported by ‘skyscrapers’ reaching to the sea floor below.

The Wall as Infrastructure focussed on a site in South Boston that is isolated geographically from the city by the highway and isolated socially from the people by the jail. Na and Yoo’s proposal seeks to turn a negative urban environment near the jail in Boston into an ecological, economic, and social opportunity by using a wall as a vertical landscape to revitalise the community.

An Honourable Mention went to M. Jull and L.Cho for What the Hell is That?, a plan to reshape and disseminate the image of Boston City Hall.

Key Facts

Civic Buildings Transport
United States

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