Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is designing the Seaport World Trade Center, an expansive mixed-use development on Commonwealth Pier in Boston’s vibrant Seaport District. The existing site, once the largest pier building in the world upon its completion in 1901, will transform to include modern, flexible office space; new retail, dining, and public amenities; and dynamic event space. International real estate advisor Pembroke drew upon the design expertise of Schmidt Hammer Lassen along with Boston-based architectural firm CBT for the adaptive reuse project that maintains the site’s historic origins while introducing new materials, increased daylight, and new points of connectivity.
The revitalization will improve public access throughout the site, greatly expand retail offerings, and enhance site resiliency and sustainability. The Seaport World Trade Center will include new commercial office space designed for flexibility and creativity with increased natural light and views. Throughout the development, 15,200 square metres of new and enhanced outdoor public space including courtyards, walkways, green rest spaces, and a grand plaza, will invite office workers and the public onto the pier. The new 2,300-square-metre public waterfront plaza located near the southwest corner of the site will become the pier’s central gathering point. Conceptually designed, the plaza provides an open, flexible outdoor space able to accommodate year-round events, and is dotted with tree planting, custom seating elements, and areas for moveable tables and chairs.
Running along the entire perimeter of the project is the Harborwalk, a paved pedestrian path that provides views to downtown Boston, East Boston, and the Boston Harbor. Custom seating elements with integrated planters and lighting will line the walkway that expands occasionally at niches cut into the building’s facade. Each unique niche will provide public seating, sheltered areas, signage, and connectivity to retail and dining. The pedestrian experience along Seaport Boulevard will improve with the addition of 4,180 square metres of new retail space across the upper and ground floors of the iconic Headhouse structure, as well as increased connectivity to the upper level of the Seaport World Trade Center.
Preserving Boston’s maritime past
Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s design intent for Seaport World Trade Center is to preserve many of the rich historic components of the building. The stone arches and cornice of the Headhouse will remain intact. To draw out the industrial-style warehouse character of the building’s northern extension, the façades will celebrate the building’s unique structure by exposing columns and column connections from the original structure. With the introduction of curtain wall and other lightweight materials, the building will integrate seamlessly into its neighborhood context. Maritime activity will also continue along the pier during and after construction, which is expected to begin in early 2020. Source and images Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.