A Good Neighbor on Both Street and Skyline: One Dalton, Boston

Session: Track A: Best Tall Building Award By Height: 200-299m, Part 2

Senam KumahiaGary JohnsonAndrea DayProject image

Senam Kumahia
Vice President, Carpenter and Company, Inc.

Gary Johnson
President, CEO, CambridgeSeven

Andrea Day
Associate Partner, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
New York City

One Dalton rises at the crossroads of two Boston neighborhoods: Back Bay, with its tree-lined streets of nineteenth-century townhouses, and the western end of the city’s commercial High Spine, which features Boston’s largest-scale buildings. This juxtaposition of scales presented the first design challenge A second challenge was the site’s equilateral triangular shape. To mitigate the site’s aggressively long sides and sharp corners, the tower plan is shaped as a soft triangle. While the gently curved tower form rises with its High Spine neighbors, the podium reflects its lower register neighbors by rising only to the height of nearby townhouses. The tower’s granite base is articulated with punched windows, and rises up towards a glass façade.

The equilateral triangle shape maximizes the available site while the three corners are gently reshaped with curves, creating more habitable, inviting space on the floor plates and a more welcoming profile on the ground. The building core on this tight footprint accommodates high-speed destination-dispatch elevators, eliminating the need for public corridors and creating a more intimate and neighborly scale. The residential area, above floor 23, offers views in two directions from every room and allows for operable windows integrated along incisions of a cantilevered glass screen wall that blocks wind gusts. Residential units span both sides of each corner, affording owners on the upper 40 floors 180-degree, uninterrupted views.. At the bottom of the tower, the hotel remains a taut glass envelope following the curvilinear shape of the soft triangle. The tower is designed to provide residents and guests with extraordinary views and, with expansive glazing in all hotel rooms and residences, this ensures daylight infuses most of the occupied spaces. At street level, the granite-sheathed podium is proportioned to be a good neighbor to the surrounding buildings, creating a pedestrian-friendly access point to public spaces. The envelope contrast articulates the internal elements while giving the tower its distinct character.

This LEED Silver certified project followed the principle of being sensitive to the surrounding historic architecture and ambience while also conserving natural resources and minimizing its carbon footprint. The project team used energy modeling early in the design stage to maximize building performance and develop the optimal approach with the building envelope a major focus. Glazing selections were refined through multiple full-scale mockups to ensure the highest-performing glass would provide environmental benefits through UV filtering and reduced glare, reflections, and sound transmission as well as allowing for operable windows.

View Building Information on CTBUH.org