archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Transit and Infrastructure

Transit and Infrastructure All things T or civilly engineered within Boston Metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-31-2007, 02:44 AM   #1
kennedy
Senior Member
 
kennedy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 2,824
Government Center Renovation

From the MBTA website, I don't know if this is still happening or what, but I think it will, as most MBTA projects do. It'll just take forever.

Quote:
Government Center Modernization
The entire existing Government Center station will be renovated and modernized. The station will be outfitted with new elevators, escalators, stairs, lights, and communication systems. The platforms on the Green Line level will be raised to be compatible with the new low-floor vehicles, and the platforms on the Blue Line level will be extended to accommodate six-car trains. These improvements will bring the station complex into ADA compliancy. Above ground, a new glass and steel headhouse will be constructed on City Hall Plaza, bringing natural light into the Green Line level. Additionally, a second headhouse with elevator and escalator will be constructed adjacent to the JFK building, leading directly to a new subsurface Blue Line mezzanine and fare-collection line. The design work was completed by CityBuilders: A joint venture of SYSTRA and Thomson Design Associates. The design work was brought to a 90% level by City Builders: A Joint Venture of Systra and Thomson Design Associates, and it is being further progressed to completion by Jacobs Engineering.
The design is okay, maybe a little too modern, or maybe to airport-y. Hopefully will work well with a nice new park and skyscarper on Scollay Square. Oh yeah, there are pics on the MBTA website. If anyone wants to let me know how I can put pics in the post, please do.[/quote]
kennedy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 10:29 AM   #2
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 5,867
This has been on the drawing boards for 6 or 7 years though. I remember going to a talk held by the architect who designed the new head house and he basically said he would never work for the T again.
__________________
http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com | http://futurembta.com | http://hyperrealcartography.tumblr.com
brivx: well, my philosophy is: as designers, we make a good theater, we dont direct the play
vanshnookenraggen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 10:56 AM   #3
Beton Brut
Senior Member
 
Beton Brut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Orient Heights
Posts: 3,467
^^ I did some freelance work on TDA's media kit and wrote some content for their webpage a few years. Brian Thompson told me the same thing about working with the T. He's a bright guy -- studied with E. Fay Jones, one of the post-WWII Taliesin apprentices. TDA was also responsible for the silly PoMo masterplan for North Station.
Beton Brut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
Re: Government Center Renovation

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
The design is okay, maybe a little too modern, or maybe to airport-y.
"airport-y" doesn't bother me at all in a context like this one. The South Station bus terminal, for instance, is sometimes compared to an airport waiting area; that's a great improvement over what an inter-city bus station usually looks like.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 05:03 PM   #5
jass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,640
Do they even have a timeline for this?

Or is it whenever Arlington gets done?
jass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 05:32 PM   #6
AdamBC
Senior Member
 
AdamBC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Brookline
Posts: 565


Decent design, but still doesn't improve the fact that Government center is a foolish wasteland.
AdamBC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
Beton Brut
Senior Member
 
Beton Brut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Orient Heights
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by jass
Do they even have a timeline for this?
I ride through there every day, and I see no evidence of day-to-day maintenance, never mind construction prep. There's no information on the T's webpage - the project status is "Design," alluding to engineering work currently in progress. I'll wager that the T is holding its cards to see what happens with Hizzhonor's plans to move City Hall.
Beton Brut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 06:23 PM   #8
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
Or maybe they want to wait until State is finished.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 06:27 PM   #9
Merper
Senior Member
 
Merper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston's South End
Posts: 255
WTF??

this is really no less uglier than what is there now.

a piece of 'sculpture' with no interest in its surroundings, at least from what I can tell. At least the current bunker 'fits' in.

May be more useful, definitely not prettier.

Can't we put an actual building here? One that follows the contours of the street pattern, ground floor retail, and T station? Would sure help enclose GC plaza. Can't construction of this type be financially lucrative for the T?

a non-architect's rough foot print:


why isn't something like this even discussed?
Merper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
chris
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
But then where would they put the Big Apple Circus?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 06:35 PM   #11
Merper
Senior Member
 
Merper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston's South End
Posts: 255
...

there's plenty of parking lots in the SBW....
Merper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
Ron Newman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Davis Square, Somerville, MA
Posts: 8,399
Send a message via AIM to Ron Newman
Big Apple Circus used to be on Fan Pier, then later behind Bayside Expo Center.
Ron Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2007, 02:42 PM   #13
Charlie_mta
Senior Member
 
Charlie_mta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 988
No matter what kind of subway entrance they build, the area will still be a vast empty wasteland. The only way to fix that is to infill City Hall Plaza with a mix of low-rise and high-rise buildings and a dense system of small streets, similar to the street pattern that pre-dated Government Center. A very small plaza could be retained on the south side of City Hall, but the area around the GC station kiosk and the rest of the plaza should be in-filled.

I'm sure the circus can find somewhere else to go. This is, after all, the center of a large city.
Charlie_mta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2007, 04:03 PM   #14
Charlie_mta
Senior Member
 
Charlie_mta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 988
My concept for infilling Government Center with streets and buildings
(proposed streets are red, proposed building parcels are yellow):



Included is the removal of the GC garage.
Charlie_mta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2007, 04:07 PM   #15
kz1000ps
Senior Member
 
kz1000ps's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mAnhAttAn
Posts: 7,334
Send a message via AIM to kz1000ps
I look at that rendering of the new station, and all I can think is "overwrought." But it's definitely an improvement over the bunker.

@ Merper's site plan for a building over the station, call me crazy but I think that's one of the few areas where space should be left open, particularly for the tourists wandering over from the burial grounds, ect. Leave the sightlines of City Hall intact from the corner of Tremont/Cambridge and Court Streets.

EDIT: Yowza, great job Charlie! I like what I see, although my comments to Merper apply here also -- instead of having the new building follow the curve of the Sears Crescent, keep the sightlines open so you can see the main entrance from Tremont St.
kz1000ps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2007, 08:14 PM   #16
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 5,867
Briv is proposing adding a new forum where we can redesign the city to our hearts delight. I was keeping it a secret but after seeing Charlie's proposal I think we should all bug him until he adds it.
__________________
http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com | http://futurembta.com | http://hyperrealcartography.tumblr.com
brivx: well, my philosophy is: as designers, we make a good theater, we dont direct the play
vanshnookenraggen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2007, 08:42 PM   #17
ablarc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,528
Nice job, Charlie.
ablarc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2007, 09:21 PM   #18
kennedy
Senior Member
 
kennedy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 2,824
Like my dream project thread only visual...

Anyways, it seems a little overscaled. I like how big the bunker is, it just needs to be updated. And possibly cleaned.
kennedy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2007, 01:14 PM   #19
whighlander
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lexington
Posts: 6,519
All that's needed is to complement Centre Plaza

I think the City Hall Plaza could work if the edge along Cambridge Street was filled in with a long relatively low {5 or 6 floors} and relatively thin building -- similar to Centre Plaza on the other side of the street

The building would follow the Curve of Cambridge Street from the Bunker to the Pit with a relatively narrow sidewalk between the street and the building

T access to Green and Blue Lines would be provided to each end of the building at street level

The building would be penetrated at the ground levels by pedestrian passages {wide enough for emergency vehicle use} and 2 stories tall to permit adequate views from without

The ground floor facing the slightly reduced scale City Hall Plaza would be ideal for restaurants that in the summer / fall could spill out lots of plaza cafes / bars under the familiar umbrellas

With the new hotel on Court Street and the Sears Crescent bordering the adjacent corner ? this would start to function as an enclosed Plaza as in Europe

Then the City could sell the City Hall and Parking Garage to one /more developer -- who could do the rest that needs to be done to take full advantage of the location

Westy
whighlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2010, 01:01 AM   #20
Mike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Weymouth
Posts: 964
Re: Government Center Renovation

Redesign fits Government Center to a T
By Richard Weir
Monday, October 4, 2010


The Government Center T station has the charm of a bomb shelter - and that?s its most winsome feature. Impressions only get worse up close.

?It feels like you are walking into a cave,? said Frank DePaola, the MBTA?s assistant general manager for design and construction.

DePaola is heading a project to give the dreary, circa 1964 station a $72 million, top-to-bottom facelift that will replace its bunker-style ?head house? with a glistening, three-story tall glass tower, add two new elevators and rebuild the platforms.

?This will feel like you are walking into the lobby of a hotel or the atrium of a shopping area,? DePaola said of the new structure - scheduled to be completed in late 2015 - that will serve as a giant skylight to filter daylight right down to the Green Line platform.

The transparency of the windowed cube is twofold: It increases security by allowing passengers and police to see in and out of the entranceway and it also blends in with the surrounding buildings.

?It?s more of a minimalist architecture, the exposed-steel framing with glass,? he said. ?By being transparent, it doesn?t really block or intrude on the architecture of the area or make a big statement.?

I?m not sure why anyone would be sensitive about overshadowing the nearest landmark, the much maligned, concrete brutalist behemoth that is City Hall, which incidentally leads Virtual Tourist?s list of the ?The World?s Top 10 Ugliest Buildings.?

That is exactly what a previous concept would have done had it not been scrapped several years ago after coming in $20 million over budget. That design envisioned the station headhouse looking like an enormous sail made of cables, columns and ?engineered fabric? extending from Tremont Street to City Hall.

But DePaola said MassDOT?s new leadership resulted in the hiring of a new architectural-engineering firm, HDR, and the creating of a new, more Spartan-like desisn that focuses resources more on improving the transit experience than on flair. The new concept calls for an 8,000-square-foot headhouse - 3,000 feet larger than the existing one - with 10 fare gates, double the amount now that tend to bottleneck at rush hour.

The platform improvements will include brighter lighting, new tiles and raised Green Line platforms to allow people in wheelchairs or with canes and strollers easier access to trolleys. It will also include totally rebuilt connections to the Blue Line and a new evacuation stairwell for that line.

But the biggest addition will be two new elevators, which will make the station ADA compliant. Adding to the project?s huge price tag will be the building of a temporary, nearby head house so that the station can remain open during construction.

Riders I showed the new designs to last week had mixed opinions, from calling the new station ?gorgeous? to an unnecessary burden to taxpayers.

?It?s time for a change,? said Robert Brown, 60, a physician from Brookline. ?It?s pretty drab. Since this is sort of like the hub, it should look a lot nicer than the average station.?


Link


Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hynes renovation JS38 Development Projects 161 11-29-2011 09:42 AM
What to do about Government Center Charlie_mta Design a Better Boston 124 11-11-2011 07:28 PM
Government Center Garage Redevelopment Project Meeting briv Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 0 05-15-2009 07:22 PM
Government Center Garage Redevelopment Project - BRA JohnAKeith Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 12 03-26-2009 12:34 AM
Government Center TheBostonian Boston Architecture & Urbanism 4 10-14-2008 09:29 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.