A number of residential towers will soon be taking over the Boston skyline. From the gleaming facade of the 52-story Copley Place Tower to the lofty height of the 780′ tall Winthrop Square Tower, Boston’s residential building boom has hit an all-time high. Bushari’s Boston Real Estate Blog has reported on the size comparisons of these new residential towers, but we were left with a number of unanswered questions. What will these towers look like from an aesthetic perspective? What type of personality does the building convey? The answers to these questions lie in the hands of their designers. Let’s meet the masterminds behind these towering masterpieces.
Copley Place Tower
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Height/Stories: 625′ / 52 stories
Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2019
Architect: Elkus Manfredi Architects
The Copley Place Tower is a planned residential expansion atop the current Neiman Marcus building at 100 Huntington Avenue. The design will transform the space to include seven new retail spaces, three restaurants and a soaring residential tower. The 52-story building will include 109 ultra-luxury condos and 433 luxury apartments.
Copley Place Tower is designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and is being developed by Simon Property Group. Its design includes a multi-story atrium with a glass facade that welcomes pedestrians into an indoor garden. Residents will benefit from direct access to the retail facility, a 6th floor lap pool, a 7th floor Sky Lobby/deck and a garage with car and bike parking. Copley Place Tower is perfectly situated for those who enjoy the shopping, restaurants and nightlife of the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods. The building will provide easy access to major transportation points and MBTA stations.
Copley Place Tower architects Howard F. Elkus (left) and David Manfredi (right).
Elkus Manfredi is a Boston-based architectural firm founded by Howard F. Elkus and David Manfredi, both fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Since the firm’s inception in 1988, Elkus Manfredi have been a prime accomplice to Boston’s architectural boom. Their work spans internationally as well, from The Modern in New Jersey to Las Vegas’ City Hall and Russia’s Sochi Grand Marina.
“Many of our projects involve significant urban design,” Elkus claims. “And, as urban designers, we are always looking at the context and relationship to our work and their surroundings. And that has been a priority of the city as well”. The designs by Elkus Manfredi are noticeably harmonious with their surrounding architecture. They tend to be free of jarring and extraneous features, instead showcasing their charms through gleaming facades and curves. Copley Place Tower is no exception. Its stylish curved glass facade is complimented by additions to the Copley Place Mall including new flooring and ceiling treatments, glass handrails, upgraded escalators and an upscale food court. One of the many benefits of being connected to a mall is that condo-owners may have a personal shopper go downstairs to the mall to buy an item for them.
The luxurious condos at the Copley Place Tower will be priced from $975,000 to $15,000,000-plus.
South Station Tower
Neighborhood: Leather District
Height/Stories: 677′ / 49 stories
Estimated Completion Date: Construction begins early 2017
Architect: César Pelli
Built atop Boston’s largest railroad station and intercity bus terminal, the South Station Tower will soon rise as one of the city’s largest residential complexes. The history of the tower’s development goes back to the early 90s, when Tufts University president Jean Mayer foresaw a potential use for the airspace as the “epicenter for high-profile medical research”. However, its development would be frequently delayed by complications arising from Boston waterfront zoning restrictions. It wasn’t until 1997 that Tufts brought on a development partner, Hines Interests LP, to lay out a plan for the space. The original design called for a 759′ tower which included a decorative spire but these plans would be downsized in 2006 and the space would instead be used for condominiums.
South Station Argentine-American architect César Pelli.
The new designer for the South Station Tower is famed architect César Pelli. Pelli is listed by the American Institute of Architects as one of the world’s most influential living American architects. His vast portfolio includes work on some of the world’s tallest buildings, including the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which were, at the time of their construction, the tallest buildings in the world. Among his most influential works are the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, the renovation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Carnegie Hall Tower in New York City.
Pelli’s designs are generally postmodern with a strong influence from the Modern architectural period of the early 1900s. He gained much recognition in the U.S. for his work on the Pacific Design Center, which features a beautifully reflective, opaque blue-glass facade. His designs follow similar patterns, comprised of rectangular prisms with rounded edges and tapered tops. South Station Tower’s design is reminiscent of stacked geometric prisms, with a lovely blue-glass facade that compliments the surrounding colors of the Boston sky.
The South Station development will renovate parts of the South Station Transportation Center while developing a 49-story, 970,000-square-foot office tower, a 155-unit residential condominium complex, 200-room hotel building, 525,000 square-foot office building, and garage parking for 750+ cars. South Station Tower is destined to become a future landmark in Boston, displaying the harmony between Boston’s bustling transportation hub and its opulent residences.
Height/Stories: 683′ / 59 stories
Estimated Completion Date: TBD
Architect: Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture
Plans for construction of a 407,000 square-foot structure containing approximately 300 rental units, retail space and 200 parking spaces are currently being reviewed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. These plans date back to their first proposal in 2008 by late Mayor Thomas Menino, and have been on the fence ever since. The 2009 economic crash caused New York-based managers Midway Management Corp. to put the project on hold, but it is once again back in the works.
One Bromfield architects Gordon Gill (left) and Adrian Smith (right).
Midwood Investment & Development firm is developing the tower, but its design is in the hands of Chicago architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. Their architectural firm is strictly engaged in the development of energy-efficient and sustainable architecture. Significant projects taken on by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill include Jeddah Tower, which will overtake the Burj Khalifa as the word’s tallest building in 2020, China’s Wuhan Greenland Center and green renovations to Chicago’s Willis (formerly, Sears) Tower.
The partners’ company was founded after they left their Chicago office at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a firm that specializes in supertall skyscrapers. Their style incorporates high-performance, energy-efficient skyscrapers that are as distinguished as they are fashionable. One Bromfield brandishes a dapper curved shape that bends around the corner of Washington and Franklin streets. Its shape retains similar geometrical features present in the Burj Khalifa and China’s Zifeng Tower. While information detailing its interior features has not yet been released, we can imagine that it will retain the same level of green living and efficiency that Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill have displayed throughout their past works.
Height/Stories: 685′ / 60 stories
Estimated Completion Date: 2016
Architect: Blake Middleton of Handel Architects
Millennium Tower, the third tallest building in Boston and tallest residential skyscraper in the city, is nearly complete. Many of us have been eagerly anticipating its opening since Millennium Partners won approval for 1.1 million square feet of residential and commercial space at the site in 2012. The site is in the center of one of Boston’s busiest areas, and the 231,000 sq. ft. retail space is positioned to take advantage of the large pedestrian volume. Above, up to 600 residential units, both condominiums and rentals, will have a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom units. In addition, there will be 550 parking spaces below grade.
Millennium Tower architect Blake Middleton of Handel Architects.
Blake Middleton, a founding partner at New York-based architectural firm, Handel Architects, is the lead designer of Millennium Tower. Middleton has been recognized as a leading figure in high-rise mixed use urban design. He’s shown the East Coast his ingenuity with downtown Boston’s Millennium Place and Ritz-Carlton, the Hemenway Building for the Boston Conservatory, and the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Natatorium in New York City. Handel Architects center their work on harnessing the economic and political forces that influence large scale urban design.
Blake Middleton received his Bachelor’s in Architecture from Cornell University in 1978 and his Masters in the Cornell Urban Design Studio of theorist Colin Rowe. He has won prestigious international awards throughout his career, and has lectured at numerous universities including Harvard, Yale, Syracuse and Cornell. The inspiration behind Middleton’s designs rests in the harmony between the bustling urban lifestyle and the opulent residence. Handel Architects have an extensive portfolio of intimate, modernist buildings constructed throughout the U.S. and abroad that bring an artistic flair to the busy metropolis. Millennium Tower will be 60 stories of unprecedented luxury in Boston’s lively Downtown Crossing neighborhood.
Four Seasons One Dalton
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Height/Stories: 699′ / 61 stories
Estimated Completion Date: 2017
Architect: Blake Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed
The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, One Dalton, will be amongst the tallest high-rise residential towers taking over the Boston skyline. When compared to other Boston towers, only the Prudential and Hancock buildings will surpass its height when completed.
The 699-foot skyscraper will include 180 luxury condos occupying floors 24-61. The lower floors will be home to 211 hotel rooms. One Dalton will present world-class amenities including a private health club, spa and 70′ swimming pool. Condo owners are welcome to a private restaurant and club on the 50th floor. Units are expected to feature soaring ceiling heights, large windows with sweeping city views and private entrances for tower residents.
Four Seasons One Dalton Architect Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed Architects.
The design of One Dalton is being spearheaded by legendary architect Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed Architects. Pei Cobb Freed is a New York-based architectural firm with major projects in more than 100 cities across the globe. Projects undertaken by the company have received more than 200 awards for their design excellence. It was founded by I.M. Pei and Henry Cobb. Significant works include Paris’s Grand Louvre, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and Boston’s John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse and Harborpark.
One Dalton’s towering glass facade will be a striking addition to the number of residential towers currently being constructed or planned throughout the city. The building’s gently curved triangular form is brilliantly derived from the perimeter street pattern. Its design will evidently compliment the surrounding Christian Science Plaza and reflecting pool (which was also designed by I.M. Pei). The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, One Dalton, will be a welcome addition to the growing number of residential towers throughout Boston. See below for an exclusive map of Boston’s future residential towers.