Launch Slideshow

The architects strove to design a boathouse that would conserve energy and natural resources and have low operating costs.

Citation: Community Rowing Boathouse

Citation: Community Rowing Boathouse

  • The architects strove to design a boathouse that would conserve energy and natural resources and have low operating costs.

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    The architects strove to design a boathouse that would conserve energy and natural resources and have low operating costs.

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    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    The architects strove to design a boathouse that would conserve energy and natural resources and have low operating costs. Their solution: an active building-envelope system, created using digital design tools and in close collaboration with fabricators and other consultants. Made of aluminum frames and composite panels, the prefabricated system has vents that open with a tug on an off-the-shelf chain pull. These vents not only create an active facade; they eliminate the need for mechanical heating and cooling of the 300-foot-long boat storage bays.

  • Facade with vents closed

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    Facade with vents closed

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    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    Façade with vents closed

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    Anmahian Winton Architects

  • The 30,000-square-foot facility is intended to reinvigorate public use of the riverfront site.

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    The 30,000-square-foot facility is intended to reinvigorate public use of the riverfront site.

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    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    The 30,000-square-foot facility is intended to reinvigorate public use of the riverfront site. To that end, the design team created a fluid building surface that shifts as people move around it. The operable vents and the patterned louvers (above left) connect indoors and out, and a public court (foreground) between the boathouse and the smaller sculling pavilion establishes a visual connection to the Charles.

  • The design team made use of state-of-the-art digital fabrication technology and worked closely with manufacturers, fabricators, and installers from early in the process, which helped maintain quality of construction and kept costs down.

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    The design team made use of state-of-the-art digital fabrication technology and worked closely with manufacturers, fabricators, and installers from early in the process, which helped maintain quality of construction and kept costs down.

    600

    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    The design team made use of state-of-the-art digital fabrication technology and worked closely with manufacturers, fabricators, and installers from early in the process, which helped maintain quality of construction and kept costs down. The building envelope system—made of aluminum frames and composite panels, and operated with off-the-shelf chain pulls—was prefabricated off-site, then delivered as pre-assembled components. This helped the team meet a tight construction schedule.

  • Bifold Door System

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    Bifold Door System

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    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    Bifold Door System

  • Chain Pull

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    Chain Pull

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    Bill McGowan

    Chain Pull

  • Framing System

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    Framing System

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    Courtesy Anmahian Winton Architects

    Framing System

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    Anmahian Winton Architects

When the only public-access rowing club on Boston’s Charles River required a new facility, Anmahian Winton Architects saw a chance to modernize the vocabulary of local rowing structures while taking inspiration from antecedents such as covered bridges and tobacco barns.

The team developed three types of functional cladding for the project. At the main boathouse, an assembly of composite panels with operable vents allows for natural ventilation. Patterned louvers on the south face mask mechanical vents, offer privacy for locker rooms, and induce natural cooling. At the adjacent sculling pavilion, glass shingles—held in custom extruded and fabricated aluminum clips—protect, ventilate, and display the smaller boats.

“It’s very rustic; it’s a hard environment, and they somehow softened it,” commented juror Cristobal Correa.