Residential & mixed-use waterfront development in Boston’s Seaport District

Arrowstreet is the master planner and architect for this vibrant 500,000 square-foot waterfront development in Boston’s Innovation District. A primary focus of this development is to set a standard for community-oriented urban design that addresses the resiliency challenges of building along the waterfront. The thoughtful balance of uses integrates 304-units of rental housing, a 297-key boutique hotel, flexible office space, restaurants, and retail. The rental units provide sweeping water views from an array of unit types, including micro-units, studios, and one- and two-bedroom apartments.

With resiliency measures a critical consideration, the interior and exterior architecture celebrate the site’s proximity to the water. Designed as an experience, the building comprises a sequence of spaces that unfold, revealing themselves to you navigate from the interior to exterior. A monumental outdoor staircase and a significant structural cantilever frame a sizable terrace above the ground floor restaurant space and maximizes the rentable square footage of the building. Outdoor rooms, coupled with a series of roof decks, create a vertical neighborhood on the building façade and a dynamic street edge to take advantage of water views and a popular performance pavilion across the street.

Landscaping elements such as planters, sloped walks, and walls that can double as outdoor seating integrate into the raised entry areas and seamlessly raise the ground floor’s elevation to further protect it from flooding. These passive systems eliminate the need for more traditional deployable flood barriers and fences that would require assembly around the entire building.

Resiliency measures to address critical storm surge and rising sea levels have been integrated into the site design and building façade to minimize the operational costs and protect the development during the event of flooding. The project is the first within Boston to use passive flood barrier gate technology. The gate is activated by rising water with the floodwaters creating hydrostatic pressure to float the buoyant aluminum beam and flip it into a vertical position. This process also activates the self-sealing rubber gaskets located at both ends of the gate.

For the foundation, the design team evaluated the typical three-level below-grade garage with slurry wall and worked with the General Contractor to achieve a significant cost and schedule savings with a 1-story below-grade parking and deep piles. This design accommodates a higher number of vehicles within a smaller footprint through valet operations and alternative parking plans.

During the design phase, virtual and augmented reality simulations were created to illustrate potential sea-level rise scenarios. These visuals assisted the client in understanding the probable flood impacts on the development.

Architectural Plans / Process