Atlantic Wharf is a shining example of the confluence of sustainability, modern architecture, historic building reuse, and successful mixed-use development.
Recently Certified LEED Platinum, Atlantic Wharf is the first sustainable high rise in Boston. The building contains 1.2 million square feet of space including 86 residential units, ground-level retail and public spaces, six stories of below-grade parking, and 30 floors of office space that bring urban activity directly to the Fort Point Channel water’s edge. The design preserves the texture and streetscape of the site, and integrates it with a modern high-rise glass tower that has become a landmark on the Boston skyline. The seven-story limestone Peabody & Stearns Atlantic Building on the northwest corner of the site is completely renovated for residential use and ground-floor retail. The new low-rise structure behind the preserved historic wharf building façades is a mix of office, retail and public uses. The entire ground floor is comprised of high-quality restaurant/retail space which enlivens the block, provides amenity space for residents, employees and visitors, and engages the urban street edge.
A dramatic, glass-enclosed atrium at the center, with ‘tree-like” supporting columns, dramatically announces the tower above and is one of three atria in the complex. This main entry spans the original 19th-century street pattern and creates a grand public entry to the high rise office tower and links with the main tenant lobby. Within the low-rise office block to the south, another enclosed two-story civic space referred to as “Town Square” is ringed by a The Boston Society of Architect’s gallery and meeting space, a public multimedia center, public galleries, and event space to encourage a variety of activities and public engagement. The third entry houses a separate residential entrance and lobby. Along the waterfront, a landscaped and hardscape plaza serves as a continuous outdoor patio for the retail and restaurants, and accommodates many types of public performances and activities.
The tower’s highly detailed maritime expression responds to the complex nature of its immediate context, while its taut glass curtainwall introduces a contemporary aesthetic that contrasts with the area’s historic past. The exterior wall is expressed as a bold structural frame supporting a glass box that projects beyond the frame at both ends, creating a sail-like form over the water and the new Rose Kennedy Greenway. A mast-like glass shaft rises to anchor the northwest corner of the building, marking the office entry and recalling the nautical history of the area. Illuminated at night, this vertical element acts as a beacon to mark the important intersection of Congress Street and the Greenway.