The South Station development is a three-phase project that was conceived by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in part to create a gateway to the city from the south. Phase One includes a mixed-use office and residential tower above the city’s historic train station in addition to majestic public space that will greatly enhance the station. The tower is designed to complement its historical and architectural context while minimizing the impact of development on the surrounding neighborhood.
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects intends a subtle relationship between new and old, expressing the Boston’s aspirations for a dynamic future while representing its historic roots. The office tower’s main axis will align with the axis of the South Station Headhouse and extend through Dewey Square and the Financial District toward City Hall. Viewed from Dewey Square, the tower will define the south end of the Financial District. Its faceted oval form echoes in a contemporary manner the curve of the facade of the South Station Headhouse. The tower’s crystalline form will be clad in lightly reflective glass. The tower’s silhouette will recall the maritime images of old Boston. The tower top will be gently lit at night, adding another landmark to Boston Harbor.
An overriding objective in the design of the project is to be respectful of the architectural character and historic significance of the train station and the neighborhood. The narrow oval profile of the tower, as seen from Dewey Square facing the main entrance of South Station, will minimize any obstruction of views and daylight. Its exterior will refract light, accentuating the verticality of the tower and diminishing its mass. The project’s pedestrian-friendly street level profile along Atlantic Avenue will be one of smaller scale buildings that reflect the architectural character of existing buildings in the Leather District.