Boston, Massachusetts, USA
“In our approach to the Commonwealth Pier’s transformation, we have tried to be mindful and meticulous,” states Christian Ahlmark, Partner and Design Director at Schmidt Hammer Lassen.
“We approached the place with curiosity and precision, and carefully assessed what we found important to preserve—both architecturally and culturally.”
Schmidt Hammer Lassen together with CBT Architects and landscape architects IBI Placemaking have designed the renovation and rehabilitation of Boston’s iconic Commonwealth Pier—a new 65,500-square-metre mixed-use project destined to enhance urban life in the city’s bustling Seaport District and drawing more visitors to its vibrant new waterfront destination.
Commonwealth Pier was built more than 100 years ago and was once the largest of its kind in the world.
This revitalization will bring new life to this iconic building, reconnecting it to the harbor and the neighborhood by creating a unique waterfront experience for Boston.
The design honors the site’s historic integrity while also introducing new materials, increasing daylight, and providing new points of connectivity.
The Harborwalk, a popular paved pedestrian path along Boston Harbor, runs along the site’s perimeter and views downtown Boston, East Boston, and the Boston Harbor.
The expansive new development, located on the historic Commonwealth Pier, is an adaptive transformation project which will introduce new ways to explore and engage with the water.
The design intent for Commonwealth Pier is to preserve the building’s unique heritage while making it a highly attractive modern-day destination.
The redesign includes a public plaza, an enhanced Harborwalk, retail, and event and meeting spaces, as well as a unique, flexible workplace.
The stone arches and cornice of the historic neo-classical headhouse will remain intact.
The façade of the building’s northern extension will include exposed columns and column connections from the original structure.
With the introduction of curtain walls and other lightweight materials, the building will integrate seamlessly into its neighborhood context.
Niches in the building’s façade will provide additional public seating, shaded areas, and connectivity to retail and dining
Led by IBI Placemaking, the design of the site also includes enhanced outdoor spaces and public amenities, including courtyards, walkways, green spaces, and a grand waterfront plaza.
The plaza will become the pier’s central gathering point, providing a flexible outdoor space for year-round activities.
It will feature, tree plantings, custom seating, and areas for moveable tables and chairs.
The revitalization project, which is targeting LEED Gold Certification, incorporates advanced design strategies for resilience and sustainability to ensure the pier’s continued enjoyment for generations to come.
The construction of Commonwealth Pier is expected to complete in 2024.
Project: Commonwealth Pier
Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Executive Architects: CBT Architects
Landscape Architects: IBI Placemaking
Structural Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti
General Contractor: Turner|Janey
Visuals: Cityscape Digital for Pembroke, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects