Piercing the sky in Boston

Nick Myall
Thursday 08 Oct 2015

Arquitectonica are creating a gateway and connector to the Fenway neighbourhood in Boston, USA

For its first project in Boston, Arquitectonica’s mission for the Pierce Boston was to create a building that lived up to the complex nature of the site and added a unique and iconic piece of architecture to and for the City of Boston, USA. Central to the project was creating a sense of place which not only provided the luxuries of modern urban living, but that hemmed this until now severed site, back into the fabric of the neighbourhood. The fundamental challenges were the geometry of the site, as well as the pressure upon it to create emphatic architecture that will serve as both a gateway and connector to the western edge of The Fenway neighbourhood.

Located in The Fenway, Pierce Boston will be a mixed-use tower with 109 condominium units, 240 rental units and over 20,000 sq ft of street-level retail space. Wrapped in a curtain wall, the building was designed to maximize 360-degree views of Boston, Cambridge, the Charles River, and the Emerald Necklace. 

The Pierce Boston participates in both the distant skyline and also the low-rise pedestrian fabric of the surrounding neighbourhoods – two very competing interests. To achieve both, the building rises highest and most abruptly at the western corner of the site, but then draws back, behind and above its low-rise podium as it extends into the neighbourhood to the east.

The  materials  palette  for  the  building  is  simply  glass  and  metal  panel  –  a  system  that not only modernises this building against its context, both in simplicity and contemporary materials, but one that allows legibility of the formal movement of the design and the site. The metal panelling is patterned down to the scale and texture of a more traditional masonry brownstone, so as the building comes to grade and its opacity increases, it more closely reflects the history of the neighbourhoods within which it rises.


Nick Myall

News Editor

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