A life science project with social impact

Seaport Circle is a new type of project– a hybrid building/landscape that fosters opportunities for social impact, enriches the environment, and creates economic opportunities for all. We believe our impact as designers, developers, builders, and investors should be measured not only by what we build, but also by how much we positively influence people’s lives, the environment, and the economy during the full lifespan of the project.

With over 650,000 SF of lab, office, retail and community space, Seaport Circle will bring together the life science hub of Boston’s Seaport with the burgeoning life science ecosystem within the Marine Industrial Park. The building features large, column free floor plates, below-grade parking, expansive amenity spaces and outdoor terraces with panoramic views to the city and waterfront. The building program includes an incubator lab, located at the base of the main lab building, and community training labs, located within a stand-alone Pavilion. These spaces are designed to foster burgeoning companies as well as train underserved residents, and a future workforce who might not have a clear pathway into working within STEM industries. By partnering with three, mission-driven non-profits for the programming, workforce development and education, the project seeks to diversify the industry by intertwining architecture with social impact.

A major feature of the project is the approach to the design of the public realm. The landscape is designed as a series of interstitial spaces where people can meet and exchange ideas. It extends through the site connecting the Pavilion to the labs as well as the adjacent Ora Residences/Hyatt hotel and MBTA station. The goal of the project was to maximize the amount of landscape on the site, blurring the boundaries between landscape and architecture with multiple green roofs and a lushly landscaped roof deck at the top of the building.

At street level, the public spaces extend through the center of the project, providing direct pedestrian paths between the waterfront and a new Silver Line transit station. To better connect the surrounding neighborhoods to opportunities for advancement, this hub is anchored by a new transit station to replace an existing station stop. Designed as a seamless extension of the public realm and with space for last mile transportation options for commuters, tourists, and area residents, the new station will increase the utility and safety while leveraging the existing transit network.

Our approach to resiliency and sustainability is to seamlessly integrate it into the design of the building’s public realm. Measures have been taken to address storm surge and sea level rise throughout the project site by elevating all occupiable spaces and protecting critical infrastructure. By designing and integrating resiliency measures early in the process, the design team is able to make these invisible to the typical pedestrian while also creating a highly resilient development. Seaport Circle optimizes the outcomes for both the environment and people, providing a comprehensive strategy to achieve a high-performance building that meets the City of Boston’s Net Zero emissions goals and is ready for climate changes in the future.

The innovative approach to the building’s design and public realm makes the social impact, and experiential qualities the new measure of design excellence.

Arrowstreet is Design Architect and Architect of Record (AoR) for the Life Science Building, with Moody Nolan as a partner.
STUDIO ENÉE is AoR for the Pavilion with Arrowstreet leading the public realm design and coordination.