John E. Johanson | Urban Studio
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Urban Studio




Boston, Massachussets

About This Project

An urban scale project located near South Station in Boston, starting with the design of a large urban area 10 and ending in the more detailed design of a large, mixed use 30+ story building and urban center. Some early conceptual work is shown above.

Putting the architectural due diligence of weaving the project into the urban fabric aside, the major architectural driver of the design is the relationship between a large 30+ story building and the human body. One can, without entering the building, climb it from the ground to its “peak” through a series of terraces which run up the “spine” of the building. Each of these public terraces serves as a well watched yard for the occupants of its respective floor. Vertical circulation is provided by a network of elevators, as well as a funicular which wraps around the side and leads to a large terrace at the peak.

The building spirals up, wrapping around a large open space in the middle of the site. People in this open space are buffered from the extreme verticality of the building by a network of sloped, interconnected paths which are lined with retail space and small businesses. Looking back, I feel confident in the development work and conceptual layout; however, the resulting building is more bombastic than I like to see.

I would love to return to the project, bring it back to its conceptual skeleton and reinterpret it in a way that is less iconic.