KPF has unveiled its design for a new high performance and resilient mixed-use tower on the Boston Harbor waterfront. Known as The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, the new building replaces a 7-story parking garage, and gives half of the previously inaccessible area over to public space, reconnecting downtown Boston with the waterfront.
The curvilinear massing of the tower mitigates wind and shadow fall on the ground plane, and steps back to create terraces for occupants and residents. A textured, scaled façade is expressed in strong vertical elements that fold at the peak to provide solar shading and natural ventilation.
"For The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, we worked hard to create a form that responds to the city of Boston," commented KPF Design Principal Trent Tesch. "The building's elegant rounded composition steps back in a series of scaled stacked volumes. Its massing is emphasized by the façade's simple vertical expression, which also diffuses sunlight and wind for a more comfortable experience at the ground plane. Dramatic openings at the base activate the area's newfound public space, and participate in a contextual dialogue of entry along Atlantic Avenue and the Rose Kennedy Greenway."
The Pinnacle's orientation on the site will enable a new pedestrian corridor, designed to integrate with the New England Aquarium's proposed 'Blueway' vision, to connect the waterfront to 28,000 square feet of on-site active public space, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Downtown Boston, inspiring a diverse cross-section of visitors to the waterfront. The tower's lower-level public amenities, including extensive retail, will line a dynamic plaza, with year-round programming activating this new destination.
Additionally, The Pinnacle will be the first Downtown Waterfront project to implement Boston's new climate-conscious development mandates. The project site, as well as the Harborwalk adjacent to the site, will be elevated four feet above its present grade and seamlessly connect with neighboring sites as they make similar adjustments in the future. These changes will provide a reimagined waterfront for Bostonians that will focus on reducing inland flood risk, protecting billions of dollars in property and infrastructure and enhancing walks along the harbor, while also accommodating lively outdoor activities that will draw residents and visitors to the water's edge.
Designed to present a distinct and powerful image on the skyline while being respectful of the existing context, the tower's curvilinear form will reduce shadow impacts and ease pedestrian flow around the building's base, creating smooth circulation paths and opening view corridors to the water. This massing will further enhance pedestrian comfort by mitigating potential turbulent wind from the water. As the tower rises, setbacks provide outdoor terraces for occupants and visitors, with views to Boston Harbor and Downtown.
The façade's textured, scaled materiality is expressed in strong vertical elements, which fold at the tower's peak to provide solar shading and natural ventilation in the residential portion of the tower. The glass curtain wall is also treated with a non-reflective coating to minimize the glare to the neighborhood. Grand gestures signal entry points in the podium, where vertical piers peel apart to reveal a special façade expression, and serve as markers, with the tallest and largest opening at the office lobby facing the Greenway.
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