As cities nationwide seek ways to balance housing production with historic preservation, the national architecture and interiors firm The Architectural Team (TAT) has opened, begun construction, or received approvals on more than 1,000 units of multifamily housing in the first six months of 2023 alone.
Among the recent openings of prominent developments distinguished by TAT’s blend of historic character and modern designs is the 100 Shawmut condominium community. The development in Boston’s South End Landmark District maximizes density and creates bold new design statements, while retaining the original architectural fabric that provides historic neighborhoods their unique identities.
Distinctively, 100 Shawmut combines adaptive reuse and new construction in a 138-unit property that preserves an existing six-story brick warehouse and builds up an extra seven stories with an L-shaped glass-and-terracotta addition. Beyond maintaining the historic streetscape and generating much-needed housing units, TAT’s design solution also enhances the area’s accessibility with new public space and pedestrian walkways that restore a long-closed-off network of cross-block connections through the neighborhood.
Restoring Historic Urban Patterns, Urban Markers, and Pedestrian Connections
This imaginative design solution integrates 100 Shawmut’s contemporary seven-story glass-and-terracotta addition with the renovation and residential conversion of an existing six-story warehouse. The resulting 232,000-square-foot development, led by developer The Davis Companies, is the centerpiece and first phase of TAT’s three-building master plan that will break up break up an existing superblock and restore the historical urban pattern of cross-block connections. The three buildings of the master plan site occupy the northern end of this superblock overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike, and provide new pedestrian connections between adjoining streets and within the site itself.
A Contextual Yet Contemporary Approach
In preserving the original brick warehouse, TAT’s architects devised a creative design for the addition: an L-shaped structure sitting above the original building and wrapping its eastern side. With a noticeable “V” shape, the long leg of the “L” departs from the strict orthogonal geometry of the original building, further distinguishing it from the original structure as well as the surrounding urban context. The shape and form of the addition also significantly expands the project’s buildable square footage and allows for more and bigger residential units with terraces, elegantly meeting the development’s programmatic goals.
The contrasting geometry and striking juxtaposition of the existing building’s muscular brick-and-concrete form with the sleek glass-and-terracotta addition, also allows each to provide a foil to the other. TAT’s addition utilizes substantial setbacks to further accentuate the restored warehouse building’s form and profile, and to preserve the existing streetscape along Shawmut Avenue, a primary corridor through the South End.
Improving the Urban Experience, for Residents and the Public
As master planners for the larger three-building superblock site that incorporates 100 Shawmut, TAT created a pedestrian-friendly public plaza and courtyard in the center of the block, accessed via a passageway from the adjacent Shawmut Avenue, Herald and Washington Streets. Once fully realized, the master plan will provide a network of walkways leading to and connecting through the plaza, and significantly improving walkability across the neighborhood.
In addition to the public plaza and courtyard, other outdoor spaces include private balconies with many units, the top-level penthouses’ private terraces, and a shared roof deck with sweeping views of the Boston skyline. A few floors down, a third-floor common terrace set above the internal courtyard provides open areas for socializing and relaxation in a quieter setting. Other amenities, with interiors by EMBARC Studio, include a catering kitchen, a pet spa, an expansive children’s playroom, a three-story parking garage, and bike storage.
Along with 100 Shawmut, other newly opened multifamily developments designed by TAT include The Apartments at Moran Square Passive House community in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, The Loop at Mattapan Station, a mixed-use, transit-oriented Passive House development in Boston, and The Cordwainer, a pioneering memory care community using biophilic design located in South Boston.
Architects: The Architectural Team
Interior designer: Embarc Studio
General contractor: Suffolk
Landscape architect: Copley Wolff Design Group
Civil engineer: Howard Stein Hudson
Structural engineer: McNamara Salvia
Fire protection, plumbing, mechanical + electrical engineer: WSP USA
Envelope consultant: Simpson Gumpertz, & Heger (SGH)
Geotechnical engineer: McPhail Associates
Photographer: Ed Wonsek
• Replacement Brick from Stiles and Hart
• Replacement Windows in Masonry Openings from Wausau
• New Terra-Cotta Panels from Agrob Buchtal
• New Unitized Curtainwall from Intercom Facades Corp.
• Entry Doors from Ellison Bronze
Interior Design Materials by Space
Reception Area/Mail Room
• Decorative Linear Pendants: Urban Electric Winston Hang Large in Antique Brass
• Fluted Column Wrap: ATI Decorative Laminates Mirrorflex Rib 2 in Argent Gold
• Reception Desk: Natural Stone: Bardiglio 2CM/Metal Accents: Chemetal Champagne Brass
• Flooring – Entry Corridor: Neolith Calacatta C01 Polished/Brass Metal Profile
• Decorative Chandelier: Ochre Moonlit Murmuration
• Column Sconces: Visual Comfort Covet Wide Clip Sconce in Antique-Burnished Brass with
• Entertainment Bar Stone: Natural Stone: Arabescato Corchia 2CM
• Flooring: Kember Ecoklik White Oak, Custom Finish, in a Chevron Pattern