The New Boston Waterfront: Channels & Edges

Prerequisites:Students will be expected to possess a high degree of design interest and capability. It is anticipated that the studio will call upon the following interests and will include:-Urban design and planning at the master plan scale -Architectural design, commercial and residential, at the scale of an individual project-Landscape architecture / Landscape urbanism Course Description:As Boston continues to develop and grow at a rapid pace, the activities that were once relegated to its edges, primarily industrial and maritime operations, are being replaced by an extension of the city\’s core activities: mixed-use residential, commercial and cultural development. This semester we will consider two key strategic waterfront sites that deserve careful consideration for future development. One is on a former edge of the downtown, whose development will be an integral part of the myriad of new real estate activity of the surrounding cityscape and the other, at the extreme eastern waterfront of South Boston appears to have unlimited use potential. Both sites are considered to be of prime importance by the mayor\’s office and the Boston Redevelopment Authority The first site is situated alongside the Ft. Point Channel at the Old Northern Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and includes approximately four acres of land currently occupied by the Barking Crab restaurant, the New Northern Avenue Bridge, the public park adjacent to the Children\’s Museum and the James Hook Lobster Co. The water sheet of the channel itself may also be imagined as an integral part of the site. This site will serve as an transition space between the older established Atlantic Avenue waterfront on the eastern side of the Ft. Point Channel and the new South Boston to the east that includes the nearby Federal Courthouse by Harry Cobb, the new Convention Center designed by Rafael Vignoli and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) by Diller and Scofidio + Renfro. The Ft. Point Channel, once at the edge to the downtown, might now be imagined as a body of water flowing through the downtown. The second site to be considered is located at the eastern tip of the Seaport District of Boston at the ocean\’s edge along the Waterfront Reserve Channel. This site is accessed along Northern Blvd. /Seaport Blvd. and includes the International Cargo Port, with its 400,000 square foot warehouse and commercial office space at 88 Black Falcon Avenue, an adjacent open site and the Black Falcon Cruise Ship Terminal. Consideration of the Conley Shipping Container Terminal on the south side of the Reserve Channel will be encouraged. Each segment of this district has its own reuse potential for large scale urban design interventions that will define a new waterfront edge for the city. Consideration of sustainable design principles are at the core of the studio pedagogy. This studio will offer opportunities for students in all professions to study and apply sustainable and high-performance design principles, in depth, throughout the course of the semester. Starting with the United States Green Building Council\’s LEED program for the design of individual buildings, a goal for this studio will be to develop guidelines for the design of sustainable urban environments. New definitions and applications of sustainability and high performance design at the urban design scale will be sought, applied and tested.