Boston, MA 2007
As a pivotal building in the urban revitalization of South Boston, the Macallen’s design required a reassessment of conventional residential typologies to produce an innovative building that works within a developer’s financially competitive budget. Occupying a transitional site that mediates between highway off-ramps, an old residential fabric, and an industrial zone, the building negotiates different scales and urban configurations. The design addresses two scales and the different edge conditions of the surrounding context through varied spatial conditions, various ways of reacting to the public sphere, and accompanying material and façade articulations to reinforce the scales of interaction. On the western end, the building responds to the highway and Boston skyline with a glass curtain wall tower that yields panoramic views for the residents inside. On the eastern end it slopes down to a more intimate scale with brickwork mirroring that of the residential building fabric, extending the logic of the storefront and pedestrian scale elements. On the north and south facades, bronzed aluminum panels reflect the industrial neighborhood component and express the staggered truss system within, where metal cladding wraps around truss to form a blade as an extension of the seamless surface. The staggered truss system allows for versatility in unit types, creating flexibility and customization for residents. The Macallen is fully integrated- in structure, MEP, and sustainability- and is replete with sustainable features to make it the first LEED gold certified building of its type in Boston.