‘Nine months after Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino challenged architects and developers from around the world to propose a 1,000-foot tower downtown that symbolizes “this city’s greatness,” only one businessman responded to his call’
That businessman, Steven Belkin, submitted a proposal for a design by Renzo Piano to the city, which would be creating 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, towering three stories above a one acre park below. Visitors could then enjoy the park below, enter the building using an escalator system, and then travel to the building’s roof, where another park/greenspace is being proposed, this time at 20,000 square feet.
The project would be located downtown at a Winthrop Square garage site, where Belkin has recently purchased nearby property [positioning himself for this new development maybe?].
‘…Belkin said he had answered Menino’s call “with a project driven by unprecedented public spaces and an innovative, environmentally friendly design.” He calls it Trans National Place, after his company Trans National Group…
…he [Belkin] ‘wanted to build a community of the future. We need to bring a community feeling back into the city’…’
Being a small city, Boston is running out of space for new development already [unless they start filling in the harbor some more]. Politically, the interest in the development of this particular site is due to its being regarded as one of the last spaces available for a major construction project in the city’s financial district/downtown.
My concern? Boston’s going to lose its small town mind over the height of the project, potentially halting the construction of what would could potentially be ‘one of the greenest buildings in the country’, and an important open space for the city, as described by Kairos Shen [the city's director of planing]:
‘…energy-saving aspects would include an insulating double skin of exterior glass, photovoltaic cells, and reflective panels on Belkin’s and neighboring buildings to direct sunlight into the park underneath the tower.
…it will create a major new open space in the middle of the city comparable in size to Post Office Square‘
…not to mention the fact that a Renzo building is sure to be siick…
quotes from Boston.com [link], also info from World Architecture News.com [link]