Höweler + Yoon and Sasaki-designed new Boston residential tower breaks ground

Ground has broken on a Boston residential tower designed by Höweler + Yoon and Sasaki. Rendering courtesy Luxigon
Ground has broken on a Boston residential tower designed by Höweler + Yoon and Sasaki.
Rendering courtesy Luxigon

Ground has broken on the Höweler + Yoon and Sasaki-designed 212 Stuart Street residential tower, which is located in the historic Bay Village neighborhood of downtown Boston. The building will be developed on a 717-m2 (7714-sf) parcel located within Boston’s ‘High Spine.’

Sasaki serves as the project architect in collaboration with Höweler + Yoon as the design architect. The project will include the construction of a 13,935-m2 (150,000-sf), 19-story building containing 126 units with two townhouses and retail space on the ground level.

“The design of 212 Stuart Street is rooted in the idea that the tall building operates at multiple scales in the city,” said Eric Höweler, principal of Höweler + Yoon. “When viewed from a distance, the building meets the sky with a distinctive silhouette and participates in the composition of the city’s skyline. When experienced from the sidewalk, the building meets the ground and activates the streetscape in its immediate context.”

The site of 212 Stuart Street is currently a vacant parking lot between the Bay Village neighborhood and the Stuart Street corridor.

The narrow building presents two distinct faces each acknowledging the surrounding neighborhoods—the low-rise residential neighborhood to the south, and the mixed fabric of the ‘High Spine’ corridor to the north.

The building massing is broken up into a ‘coursed block,’ organized into discrete blocks of three-, four-, five-, and six-story packages. The exterior is articulated to emphasize the vertical grain of the building with irregularly spaced opaque panels, alternating with recessed glass infill panels. The vertical panels consist of custom, multi-story precast panels with a concave, scalloped geometry.

“Considering the explicit historical concern in the neighborhood, we studied fluted geometries as a way to express depth and texture on the facade. Fluted columns themselves were constructed by stacking individual sections around a central core,” said Höweler. “This part-to-whole relationship satisfies the drive to maintain historical character, and yet the results are surprisingly contemporary.”

The heavy relief texture of the façade will create an optical effect, as well as some self-shading on the eastern and western exposures. Glazing for the residential units takes the form of a multi-story, recessed window wall with spandrel glass between the precast panels.

The penthouse floor is a single-loaded organization with an outdoor amenity deck to the south. The ground floor contains the lobby and retail spaces with storefront glazing facing the northern, more commercial side of Stuart Street. The southern portion of the ground floor consists of two walk-up townhouses accessible directly from the nearby Shawmut Street. These ‘new neighbors’ respond directly to the existing townhomes across the street and maintain an active residential frontage.

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