The New Gateway to Boston?

The New Gateway to Boston?

Developer Don Chiofaro is proposing a new set of towers along the recently finished Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, adjacent to the Aquarium. This project — which is being compared to skyscrapers in Asia — will rival the height of the Prudential and Hancock Towers and is sure to spark a heated architectural debate...

Artist rendering, Chiofaro Co. via The Boston Globe

"The project, when viewed from the water back toward the city, really is the gateway. It's the centerpiece of the harbor view," Chiofaro said. "The idea of the arch is to accent the opening to the city. It's not just two towers, it's actually three architectural elements." Read the whole article, Deconstructing Boston's Skyline, here.

The New York firm of KPF designed the buildings which are a mix of commercial space, condos and a hotel. The ground floor space between the buildings would allow for several stores, restaurants, and an upscale grocery. The commercial tower — the shorter of the two — would include about 860,000 square feet of office space while the more slender building would include roughly 120 condominiums above the hotel. The parking now available in the Harbor Garage would be moved underground.

Now, we are big supporters of new, well-designed architectural expression in Boston, moving away from the stale development that has plagued the city for decades. But something just doesn't seem right about this. The design, like many of the towers in Asia, is a one-liner. To us, the narrow "gateway" between the two buildings, with its cladding wrapped around to define the negative space, looks like a first-year design project, not a bold statement for the city. It lacks elegance because of poor massing and bad proportions. We are all for new design for Boston, we just don't believe this is it.

What are your thoughts?

Related Links:

Created with Sketch.