Pinch Point

Pinch Point builds on a hypothesis that a series of large nature reserves and parks act as a geologic boundary to Boston’s metro density. Powerful flows of rail and car infrastructure pass through these pinch points creating impassable torrents of movement towards Boston.  Conceptualizing the pinch points as a center provides an anchor for hyper-density from which density can radiate in both directions, as well as an opportunity to stitch adjacent green spaces together through carefully articulated transects that bridge across existing boundaries. Rather than serving as a funnel for movement towards Boston and a diffuser towards the suburbs, the pinch point becomes an urban destination that provides access to urban parks and open space. 

The primary architecture that facilitates these opposing pinch point flows is the multi-modal transit hub and associated transit-oriented development. This proposal tests the hypothesis at Oak Groves Station, a pinch point between two large parks: Middlesex Fells Reservation and Pine Banks Park. The station sits north of Malden and south of Melrose, is the terminal station for the Orange Line, and is a large commuter rail stop, evident in the swaths of on-grade parking. The project offers a new organizational framework, bike infrastructure additions, a kiss and ride loop, below-grade parking, a park, and areas for real-estate development.