Commonwealth Pier

Boston, USA

Coastal View ©2019 SHL Architects
Coastal View ©2019 SHL Architects

The prominent 65,500-square-metre mixed-use project will enhance urban life in the city’s bustling Seaport District, drawing more visitors to its vibrant new waterfront destination. The expansive development located on the historic Commonwealth Pier is an adaptive reuse project which will introduce new ways to explore and engage with the water. These include a public plaza, an enhanced Harborwalk, retail, and first-class Seaport Hotel event and meeting spaces, as well as a unique, flexible workplace. The design honors the site’s historic integrity while also introducing new materials, increasing daylight, and providing new points of connectivity.

Project Location ©2020 SHL Architects
Project Location ©2020 SHL Architects

Commonwealth Pier was built more than 100 years ago and was once the largest of its kind in the world. This revitalization will bring new life to this iconic building, reconnecting it to the harbour and the neighbourhood by creating a unique waterfront experience for Boston.

Commonwealth Pie ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke
Commonwealth Pier ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

“In our approach to the Commonwealth Pier’s transformation we have tried to be mindful and meticulous,” said Kristian Ahlmark, Partner and Design Director at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “We approached the place with curiosity and precision, and carefully assessed what we found important to preserve – both architecturally and culturally.”

Site Plan ©2020 SHL Architects
Site Plan ©2020 SHL Architects
Axonometric drawing ©2020 SHL Architects
Axonometric drawing ©2020 SHL Architects

The design of the site includes enhanced outdoor spaces and public amenities, including courtyards, walkways, green spaces, and a grand waterfront plaza. The plaza will become the pier’s central gathering point, providing a flexible outdoor space for year-round activities. It will feature, tree plantings, custom seating, and areas for moveable tables and chairs.

Coastal View ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke
Coastal View ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

Niches in the building’s façade will provide additional public seating, shaded areas, and connectivity to retail and dining.

Harbor walk ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke
Harbor walk ©2019 Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

The Harborwalk, a popular paved pedestrian path along Boston Harbor, runs along the site’s perimeter and views to downtown Boston, East Boston, and the Boston Harbor.

Recreational space ©2019 SHL Architects
Recreational space ©2019 SHL Architects

The design intent for Commonwealth Pier is to preserve the building’s unique heritage while making it a highly attractive modern-day destination.

The façade of the building’s northern extension ©2019 SHL Architects
The façade of the building’s northern extension ©2019 SHL Architects

The stone arches and cornice of the historic neo-classical headhouse will remain intact. The façade of the building’s northern extension will include exposed columns and column connections from the original structure. With the introduction of curtain wall and other lightweight materials, the building will integrate seamlessly into its neighbourhood context.

Section ©2020 SHL Architects
Section ©2020 SHL Architects

The revitalization project, which is targeting LEED Gold Certification, incorporates advanced design strategies for resilience and sustainability to ensure the pier’s continued enjoyment for generations to come. The construction of Commonwealth Pier is expected to complete in 2024.

Project information

Size65,500 m²
Competition2017, International invited competition
StatusConstruction of Commonwealth Pier is expected to complete in 2024
ClientPembroke
Build ContractorTurner|Janey
Design ArchitectSchmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Executive ArchitectCBT Architects
Landscape ArchitectIBI Placemaking
EngineerThornton Tomasetti (Structure), Arup (MEP, Sustainability)
SustainabilityTargeting LEED Version 4 Gold Certification
VisualsCityscape Digital for Pembroke, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Editing and translation: @Ibo, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company

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