News | January 12th 2015

Government Center Garage Redevelopment Receives AIA National Honor Award for Urban Design

CBT ‘s Government Center Garage Redevelopment plan has received national recognition as a recipient of the 2015 American Institute of Architects’ Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, the architectural profession’s highest award for excellence in urban design.

Boston’s Government Center Garage symbolizes the damage done to U.S. cities by 1960s Urban Renewal programs, the effects of which are still felt today. The nine-story, 2,300-space garage occupies five acres and separates six neighborhoods (Market District, Bulfinch Triangle, the North End, Beacon Hill, Government Center, and the West End) and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The plan unlocks neighborhood connections, reopens urban vistas, and creates engaging public spaces by strategically removing a portion of the garage while preserving the remaining structure through creative phasing to provide for a sustainable and economically feasible redevelopment. The project introduces 3 million square-feet of housing dominant mixed-use program to downtown, creating a dynamic 24-hour neighborhood as a model for sustainable, transit-oriented development. The project also sets up a new position for urban design in Boston by shaping the urban form to respond to acute desire lines of a pre-grid city and promoting slender building typologies.

AIA Jury Comments:

“This project is very relevant—many cities are dealing with urban renewal issues. Also like the way it recognizes and deals with transportation issues.”

“The phased, detailed approach—rather than demolishing everything and starting from scratch—is appreciated.”

“The plan reuses the garage in a positive way, shaping the new buildings around it to connect to the city. Without having said so, the project builds upon other urban design investment—mainly, the Greenway and the Big Dig—the city has made.”