KPF Reveals High Performance and Resilience Tower in Boston

Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) Associates is a renowned architectural firm in New York known for its sustainable design, urban design and master planning. The firm, with Chiofaro Company, has recently revealed their designs for the pinnacle at central Wharf, a high-performance mixed-use tower on the Boston waterfront. The new tower has been planned to replace a 7 storey parking garage that currently exists on the site.

The new project is a 600 ft high tower which covers the total area of 865000 sqft. It will include around 200 residential units, 538000 sqft office space and 42000 sqft of public space that includes retail, restaurant, and space for community activities. The structure will have more than 50% of the total area as open spaces.

The building’s elegant rounded composition steps back in a series of scaled stacked volumes with simple vertical expressions of the facade which helps to diffuse sunlight and wind for a more comfortable experience inside the building. The dramatic sliced opening at the base of the structure gives an edge to the building. The building is designed to have a high performance envelop, introduced with high efficiency mechanical and ventilation systems.

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“KPF has been working with The Chiofaro Company at this site for many years. Through the project’s several iterations, the constant theme has been a generous response to the urban fabric with a goal to create a building that is an architectural model of resiliency and sustainability […] We’re proud of the resulting scheme for The Pinnacle and are grateful for the efforts of the City of Boston and all of our collaborators.” – Jorge Mendoza, Managing Director.

The setbacks created in the form of the building are converted into terrace gardens. A nonreflective coating is used on the glass curtain wall that minimizes the glare to the neighborhood. The development also features cross-laminated timber deck, combined power and heat generation system, solar photovoltaics and rain and greywater reuse system.

The design form responds very well with the surroundings and fuses with the context of the Boston city. This new public space will help downtown Boston to reconnect with the waterfront. The building has a sliced vertical opening, the textured scaled verticality of the tower which folds at its peak providing solar shading and natural ventilation in the residential area of the tower. An opening at the base creates a beautiful public space.

The pinnacle will be the first downtown waterfront project to implement new climate-responsive and resilient designs. The project site, as well as the neighboring sites, is proposed with the elevation of four feet above its present level. The new change focuses on the reduction of flood risks, property and infrastructure damages. It will create a pedestrian corridor and broaden the walk area along the harbor. Residents and visitors will be provided with beautiful accommodation along the water’s edge.

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The design creates a dominating image on the skyline while being respectful of the existing context. The structural form helps in a smooth flow of pedestrians and offers a seamless view of the water at Boston Harbor and Downtown. Lower levels of the building will be used as retail spaces consisting of a dynamic plaza. The design will create a more accessible area that isn’t available in current scenarios.

“At KPF, we are committed to creating resilient architecture that mitigates its lifecycle impact on environmental resources, and that protects and enhances the wellbeing of surrounding communities […] The Pinnacle at Central Wharf exemplifies these efforts through its holistic approach to energy use and emissions reduction, its facade design, and its significant contributions to a more resilient, active and accessible Boston Harbor waterfront.”– Carlos Cerezo Davila, KPF Environmental Design Director.

The tower also features the latest design technologies which are climate resilience with energy, emissions and water controls. The materials used in the design helps to reduce environmental impacts, infrastructure protection that maintains the well being of the community around it.

The project is expected to have a LEED gold rating. The KPF firm is committed to the resilient architecture which could help to reduce the impacts on environmental resources. It protects the living of the surrounding community.

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Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal
Shreya Jindal is an Architecture student from MBS school of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has an avid interest in learning about new advances and innovations in the field. According to her, Architecture is a lot about understanding the psychology of the built form and the people and surroundings around it. She has tried her best to reflect the same in her writings and is hopeful that readers will be inspired by how architecture evolves living.

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