Following years of extensive planning, the Boston Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors has approved the construction of two towers on the site of the Government Center Garage — a 486-unit luxury apartment building designed by CBT Architects, and a one-million square foot, 43-story office tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli. These towers are the first phase of a six building, $1.5 billion redevelopment plan to replace the dated brutalist era garage.
The project, upon completion, will include housing, offices, a hotel, retail, and other public amenities including bringing daylight to a block of Congress Street for the first time in fifty years. In addition to the newly approved towers, the HYM Investment Group and National Real Estate Advisors are planning the construction of three buildings to surround a new public plaza in order to reestablish a prominent central gathering point in downtown Boston near old Haymarket Square.
The project is transit-oriented and centrally located just two blocks from North Station and Storrow Drive, next to I-93, and integrated with the MBTA’s Haymarket Station. The design features a one-acre green roof and will have the largest area for bicycle storage in Boston.
Once construction begins on the office tower, the existing garage will be demolished. Approximately 1,100 parking spaces of the existing 2,300 will be retained and enveloped by the office tower and two residential buildings once the project is completed.
Program: facade refurbishment, energy saving technology
Area: 230 sqm facade
Main Contractor/Builder: Impresa Cannito Domenico
Steel Work: Saverio Petronella
Main Supplier: Mapei S.p.A.
Building Material Supplier: Fassa Bortolo S.p.A.
“The design process for my family’s house started following an intuition, that developed over time taking the form we can see now. During the evolution of the project a transformation, like the renewal of the king, has occurred in me. One of the major catalysts has been the album “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson, inhabiting my subconsciousness unraveling itself through catharsis in this project.
At the beginning I imagined to restore the building giving it a coherent fortress-like look again. Whilst the tower took shape in my imagination, a castle emerged in which the King had trapped himself, overwhelmed by his fears, his dark side, prone to decay and death, the Nigredo. The court where tension, resignation and sacrifice evolved into hope, rebirth, the project itself. ”
The city and its various parts can be seen as a music score, the edifices acting as notes played by different instruments simultaneously. A melody is created by, what the Romans used to call Genius Loci, the spirit of the place, the conductor of the city. Historic centres usually have a clear, harmonious melody, but oftentimes the soundscapes of the outer layers of a city are disrupted, lacking a conductor able to integrate architectonic interventions throughout space and time. Notes follow each other without a scheme, unbalanced, generating feelings of abandon and indifference.
Gentle Genius is born in such an environment, aiming to generate awareness of the critical current condition. It sets a new key in the urban music score, recovering a deep note lost in time, reinventing local instruments to manifest as a sound from the future, allowing the Genius Loci to compose new music again.
The Genius Loci of the area, after decades of abandon, has finally arisen from its sleep. The facade starts to vibrate and due to its structure creates an ever moving surface. The red represents the strength of the genius. Red has the longest wave length of the visible spectrum and can be associated with the longest sound-waves that, rather than touching our ears, are felt in the torso. Hence it touches the instincts of the viewer, it is not linear, it is multifaceted perception that reaches out from the walls, transforming a residential building into a sculpture. The dormant feelings in the subconscious of the viewer are awakened and stirred, augmenting the intensity of the predominant emotion, acting like a mirror. The spirit has found a place to emerge again, he shakes and touches those that are outside and protects and shelters those that have welcomed him.
On January 15, 2015, Allan Teramura, FRAIC, was named the 77th President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). The Ottawa architect is a principal at Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects, and has advocated for healthier, sustainable Aboriginal communities in Canada.
At his investiture ceremony at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa, 120 guests – including RAIC members, the RAIC board of directors, and representatives from Parliament Hill, government departments and First Nations communities – heard Teramura’s speech on the importance of his advocacy for the Aboriginal communities of Canada.
“As architects, I think we would all agree that losing traditional building crafts and knowledge of ways of organizing physical space can be as corrosive to a society as the loss of a spoken language,” Teramura said in his investiture speech. “The built environment in Indigenous communities tends to be discussed in terms of housing issues, but in my view the problem is compounded by the absence of cultural identity, and this is seldom discussed.”
Teramura explained that he sees similarities between the living conditions on reserves and the internment camps where Japanese-Canadians, including his grandparents and parents, were forcibly placed during the Second World War.
“At a time when talk of reconciliation is growing, our profession is in a position to – and, therefore, is obligated to – look at ways to help address injustices, not by imposing our ideas, but by listening and promoting the professional competencies that already exist in Indigenous communities,” he said. “They are a technological solution for housing, not intended to be permanent. You realize you’re dealing with something that is not a normal community, but a camp. A camp is a settlement with no future by definition.”
Teramura’s previous accolades include the President’s Medal and representing Canada at the COP21 Conference in Paris.
Location: Rural Rd Nakhon Ratchasima, Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Architect In Charge: Rujnumporn Keskasemsook, Nuttachat Kosintranont, Aumpika Amloy
Structural Engineer/ Sanitary Engineer: Mr. Pakanut Siriprasopsothron
Area: 860.0 sqm
Project Year: 2015
Photographs: Courtesy of SOOK Architects
From the architect. The owner wanted to build a weekend house for her extended family, meditation groups and gathering with friends and relatives, which can be adjusted into a permanent house in the future. The site is located 9 kilometers from town and the train station, If the High-speed train route from Bangkok to Nakornratchasima has been developed, it will be a good location to build a home.
The house is designed to meet the requirements in housing estates, including more setback- open space than the minimum amount required, color, height, features, natural system for wastewater treatment and self-sufficient in water supply. The design of the house layout is consisted with the existing trees on the site.
The concept is to design a house that meet the owner’s requirements and needs, which is to design a place to hold activities for all ages and can be interchangeable – a common space that can be used for private or public. A house that designs for a good quality living environment, in accordance with the site context and provides better facilities than housing estate requirements.
In order to preserve the existing tree – a native tree, and to fit architecture with nature, the design of the house has a light court in the central of the house to capture the tree.
The line that runs horizontal to the edge of the elevated first floor along the front elevation is parallel to the line of the eve of the first floor roof to set off in contrast to the vertical line of the light court captures the tree.
The second floor has been imported as an attic to make the building looks like a single story house that spreading along the horizontal exit. The shape of the roof simulates landscape dynamic and the mountain line.
This 3D model is as close as you can get to the real thing, as Omega House is one of the few Case Study Houses that was never built. Presented early in the case study program of Arts & Architecture magazine in 1945, it presents one of the most innovative design concepts in the series, one you can now explore in your browser.
In 1945, Omega House was a revelation, a modest family house turned inside out; it offered a cruciform plan extrovertly oriented to the brightly lit Southern Californian landscape. The house, as Time would write about Neutra’s architecture, merges “clean lines, common-sense convenience and liberating openness of style with the warm overtones of home.” On one arm of the cross is a demonstrative, high-ceilinged living space for entertaining that opens onto a large paved outdoor area, effectively bringing the outdoors in. There’s the secluded master bedroom at the end of the next arm, and then an enclosed space for children’s bedrooms (where they enter from the garden via the shower cubicle!). The final arm contains the kitchen and spaces for informal dining. The plan allowed for a small house to express sophisticated splits between public and private, adult and child, day and night, activity and rest.
And the clients? Well, they were imaginary. In designing the Omega house, Neutra invented a pretend brief that enabled him to present this ideal model as a realistic possibility. In this American dream, Mr and Mrs Omega are past their first matrimonial decade, and they have weathered it well. Mrs Omega describes herself as a housewife with artistic and musical interests. They have three children: two daughters and a son of ten, nine and five years of age respectively. They want a house that balances their life, and Neutra obliges.
In the cover article celebrating Neutra in 1949, Time Magazine wisely advised its readers, “learn to speak knowingly of furring and flashing, soffits and reveals, muntins and mullions, gambrels, spandrels, hips and door butts.” The innuendo would have pleased Neutra. He didn’t grow up in Vienna for nothing: a friend of Freud’s son Ernst, Neutra had very developed views of the relationship between a house and the family that inhabits it:
“The ‘family group,’ small or large, held together by bonds of closest genetic relationship, often also carrying the healthy seeds of centrifugal development and inner antagonism, has been studied by psychologists as humanity’s basic element… The snail’s shell, the bird’s nest, the wasp’s hive, the ant’s hill—all these, built quite reflexively, become the immediate physical surrounding of these animals and are no less important to them than is constructed housing to a family. With this environment our soul searchers have concerned themselves unjustifiably much less than with marital relations or those between parents and children. I well remember how Professor Freud used to smile at my statement that housing architecture, the daily and nightly impact of physical surroundings, decisively raises conditioned responses.” 
Neutra was also an acolyte of Otto Rank, whose 1923 book The Trauma of Birth argued that the definitive problem in human existence—the prototype of all suffering—was the pain of being born. Rank had been a major figure in the psychoanalytic movement until the birth trauma theory. His colleagues decided that it was ridiculous, and he was more or less drummed out of the movement. Neutra, however, took the birth trauma hypothesis very seriously indeed, and his buildings double-down on psychoanalysis. Neutra used psychoanalytic techniques to study his clients and their needs, and to persuade them to build his structures. As Time reported, Neutra was known for making every member of a client’s family write diaries describing every thing they did for a week. Neutra took special interest in the diaries of his client’s wives. This was a calculated strategy to make them fall in love with him. By showing more interest in their lives than anyone had ever taken before—finding them more interesting, in fact, than they found themselves—he set up a perfect scenario for what psychoanalysts call transference, the moment when the patient falls in love with the doctor. Needless to say, with her distaste for manipulation and psychoanalysis, Ayn Rand would have hated him for this.
That wasn’t all. Neutra designed the buildings as if he was conducting a psychoanalysis. As he wrote about himself for Art & Architecture: “they tell stories of how you design things without a pencil, thinking them out while lying on a couch”. He thought of his buildings, as Sylvia Lavin writes in her memorably titled book Form Follows Libido (2004), as therapeutic treatments. Because the passage from inside to outside the house was a micro-reenactment of the trauma of being born, it had to be done gracefully, easing the resident in and out of doors. Where Le Corbusier’s ribbon windows kept the landscape at a distance, equating it with the horizon, Neutra’s big plates of glass welded inside and out into a single whole. Alternately, as some wags would later describe it, each living space should be “a womb with a view.”
Put slightly differently, the floorplans of Neutra’s houses are constructed almost as diagrams of the neuroses of clients. So what else then, does this model betray of the fate of the Omegas? Well, it shows how the slope of the roof makes the adult’s living spaces grand, even while it keeps the children’s rooms enclosed and secure. It also shows how significant the outdoor areas are. The open space for sports was to be separated from the patio for cooking by a splash pool. Neutra thought of grilling with great seriousness. This wasn’t just about outdoor cooking and sociable alcoholism, it was about the hunt and the sacrifice: a kind of primitivist smithy for forging sausage sandwiches, a place where fathers could calm the castration anxiety of their children by offering them hunks of severed meat. The splash pool was for social tanning, in which the mother would not just be a mother, but a star in an endless oedipal drama. What’s especially weird about Neutra’s houses is that, for all his care with spatial transitions and thresholds, there is no way for a transition into adulthood to take place in these houses. Children are kept in a midget world of small, low ceilinged, interconnecting rooms. The house betrays a terror of adolescence. Neutra, with his obsession with birth trauma, had perhaps missed the real annihilator of the perfect American household: puberty.