New England City Scoop: Construction Starts in Boston
President Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Partner
Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP
Wickersham says two of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s initiatives—Imagine Boston 2030 and Climate Ready Boston—are “guiding how the city will be planned, designed and rebuilt in coming decades.”
Imagine Boston 2030, the city’s first master plan in 50 years, “redirects growth beyond downtown and adjacent stable neighborhoods into a series of new development zones,” says Wickersham.
Suffolk Downs, the former racetrack in East Boston that is the focus of the city’s bid to lure Amazon to the city; the former Beacon railyards adjacent to Harvard University in Allston; and the corridor of the new Fairmount transit line in Dorchester are among the areas with projects underway that “can accommodate up to 50,000 new housing units in the coming decade,” Wickersham says.
Climate Ready Boston is the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s effort to address sea-level rise and climate change. A recent report notes the need for up to $2.5 billion in resilience investments by 2030 to protect the city’s most vulnerable buildings and districts from floods.
Wickersham says the BSA is partnering with the city to make Boston a “laboratory for best practices in urban growth, [resilience] and carbon reduction.”
Firm in Focus
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
41 Seyon St., Bldg. 1, Ste. 500, Waltham, Mass.
CEO: Charles J. Russo
New Digs: SGH was the structural engineer for a mass-timber building with a wood-concrete composite-floor system. The John W. Olver Design Building at University of Massachusetts Amherst has a timber-framed superstructure with cross-laminated timber instead of more traditional steel or concrete framing. The building houses the school’s architecture, landscape architecture and regional planning and building and construction technology design programs. SGH is also the building enclosure consultant for the 742-ft-tall Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences at One Dalton in Boston.
The firm’s nearly 300 regional employees will be moving into one of two new spaces. SGH will split its regional headquarters into an office in Boston’s Prudential Tower and a 110,000-sq-ft space in Waltham.