2024 Boston Olympic Village

Project Description

Critic

Keller Easterling

In South Boston, 1st Street bifurcates the district into an industrial zone and a residential neighborhood. However, recently developed public art institutions and studio spaces anchor the west end, along with a series of parks which line the street and ultimately lead to one of Boston’s key destinations, Pleasure Bay. This creates an opportunity to develop the street into an esplanade alongside the reserve channel.

This urban scheme bases its formal gestures on Boston’s existing conditions. Privatized wharfs cover much of Boston Inner Harbor’s waterfront, maximizing its shoreline for commercial development. These wharfs are often occupied by mid-rise towers, which consequently make the harbor virtually invisible to the street and devoid of communal spaces. By replacing such buildings with sports facilities, open-air amphitheaters, and food markets, the water’s edge can be maximized for public recreation, while maintaining the language of the piers. Initially, these piers built along 1st Street are to be occupied by athletes during the speculative Boston Olympics. A mixed use building lifted two floors above grade traces the north side of the road, creating a threshold from the esplanade into the site. From this large structure, a series of elevated residential buildings branch off towards and into the waterfront, further subdividing the piers into more intimate regions for recreation.