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Old 05-29-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
vanshnookenraggen
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Under Construction Winthrop Center | 115 Winthrop Square | Financial District

Trans National Place
115 Federal St, Boston




Piano (left) and Belkin (right)

Status
Proposed

Architects
Renzo Piano (formerly)
CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares Inc.

Stats
Name: Trans National Place
Project Address: 115 Federal Street at Winthrop Sq, Boston.
Map & Plan Links: Boston Globe Special Interactive - Green Giant
Neighborhood:Financial District
Uses:Unofficial: Office, Retail
Land Sq. Ft.: Unknown
Building Sq. Ft.: Unknown
Height: 75 floors, 1,270ft (with spire)

About
In 2006 Boston mayor Thomas Menino proposed selling off a city owned parking garage in Winthrop Sq in the heart of the Financial District, to be replaced with a 1000ft, "iconic" tower. A request was made for bids and after months of speculation only one proposal was put forth. The proposal was by Steven Belkin, owner of Trans National Properties., a credit card company, a vast "travel empire" and coincidently the owner of the adjacent office building. The design, a sleek, ultra-modern glass tower designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano was to feature a large rooftop garden and restaurant and a large public "green space" at the base of the tower. The tower itself would be built on stilts. However in March 2007 Piano stepped away from the project and a final design has yet to be released, though it is said to be "Piano inspired".

In early 2007 preservationists struck back after it was reveled that construction would require destruction of a nondescript Paul Rudolph building next to the Winthrop Garage. Preservationists requested, and received, a 90-day stay of demolition for the building so it could be determined if it has historically significant enough to save.

Then a little know law that forbid new buildings from casting a shadow on the Public Garden and Boston Common was brought into light . This could affect the tower as it is projected to cast a shadow for 15min at certain times of the year.

Images








Renderings of Trans National Place in Google Earth by shiz02130
- Mass Ave and Bolyston
- Boylston and Dartmouth (Copley Square)
- Bolyston and Arlington
- Beacon and Arlington
- Hancock Observatory
- Southeast Expressway
- Cambridge side of Harvard Bridge
- Columbus Park
- ICA
- BU Bridge
- Close-up of Downtown
- BCEC
- Bunker Hill Monument
- North Washington and Causeway
- Hot air balloon above North Washington and Causeway
- Tremont and Mass Ave


Links
- Former Trans National Place Thread (115 Federal St, Winthrop Square)
- NECN Interview with Steve Belkin
- Boston 2017 - Boston Globe

Articles
- "Taking a Bath" - Big building won?t stop making big waves 05/16/2007
- Winthrop Square garage revenue will pay for BHA upgrades - 05/11/2007
- Talk is cheap, but where are tower payments? Belkin hasn?t coughed up - 05/09/2007
- [url=http://www.archpaper.com/news/2007_0327.htm]Piano vs. Rudolph Fight Called Off[/url - 03/27/2007
- Renowned architect quits tower project - 03/16/2007
- Rudolph Building, Eyed for Piano Skyscraper, Gets Temporary Stay of Execution - 03/15/2006
- City's tallest tower clears first hurdle - 01/25/2007
- 1,000-foot tower or public park? - 12/22/2006
- Towering dream: Belkin bullish on $1.2B icon - 12/19/2006
- One bidder for Mayor's tower - 12/04/2006
- Balkin' Belkin - 12/01/2006
- A glass tower of singular design is sole response to mayor's call - 11/14/2006
- BRA Press Release - 11/13/2006
- Tommy?s Tower proposals on way: Belkin will be hard to beat for plum project - 11/12/2006
- Hub architects: No chance for mayor's tower - 09/29/2006
- Tower plan draws players: Belkin creating crack project team - 09/14/2006
- Save Boston - 08/18/2006
- High and Mighty? - 07/19/2006
- Tycoons being neighborly: Belkin, Zell may be eyeing tower - 06/09/2006
- Mayor urges 1,000-foot skyscraper - 02/18/2006
- Mayor's skyscraper call met with tepid reaction - 02/26/2006

There are a lot more articles but you guys didn't put any of the links up.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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I've decided to close the old thread and create a new one because 54 pages is too long for any sane person to wade through. I will be adding any relevant news posts from the old thread to the first post.

Also, lets leave that argument in the old thread.

\/It's as easy as me deleting the posts or moving them to 'Politics'.\/
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #3
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ending arguments on this forum is about as easy as building the burj dubai on top of the north end. and then putting up a sister tower above fenway.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:54 PM   #4
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Very nice job getting all this Trans-National info together!!
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantaden
Very nice job getting all this Trans-National info together!!
Agreed. I think that any future pretty-good sized projects that will be having their own threads should be set-up similarly. This way when people ask about original renderings, original design specs, etc. will be easily found in one thread.

To stay on topic, what did everyone think about the Boston: 2017 feature in Boston magazine? I thought it was one of the more positive write-ups I've seen about building in Boston. For once I thought the globe was pretty balanced in coverage of development.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:56 PM   #6
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^^^^^^^^^

Enjoyed the articles about future developments but frankly, having been around long enough to have seen so many cool projects proposed (hmmmmmmmmmm, where to begin)...then die out for whatever reason, kept me from being more positive. Similar to being a long-time Sox fan where over the years, hopes were brutally dashed at the last possible minute that when 2004 came along it was like...ok...should I get excited yet? LOL You don't give up hope but it's hard to get too excited though I have to admit...coming back from the brink of disaster and beating the Yankees was, for me, the BEST! Even winning the series couldn't top that for me. Anyway, you get the picture why it's hard to get excited about cool developments proposed for Boston.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:02 PM   #7
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Agreed^^^^

Great job getting the information together in one place. now you can tell any new member to, "go read page one, then ask questions." that should keep clutter down. I do believe it's too early to be that hopeful, but i do love this project more and more every day.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:10 AM   #8
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The more I see of this project the less I like it. It seems to me that, sadly, many people on this forum are so easily seduced by the mere fact of height as to give Tommy's tower a free pass on just about every other aspect of design. Gehry has curves, Libeskind shards, and Piano exposed girders; all we're getting is a non-descript box sheathed in starchitect's wrapping paper. And all this before CBT has value-engineered it...

I will lend what humble support I can to NIMBY efforts to derail this ill-conceived ego-trip before it defaces Boston's skyline forever. The cost of correcting a 1000ft mistake can only be measured in the thousands of lives.

justin
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
The more I see of this project the less I like it. It seems to me that, sadly, many people on this forum are so easily seduced by the mere fact of height as to give Tommy's tower a free pass on just about every other aspect of design. Gehry has curves, Libeskind shards, and Piano exposed girders; all we're getting is a non-descript box sheathed in starchitect's wrapping paper. And all this before CBT has value-engineered it...

I will lend what humble support I can to NIMBY efforts to derail this ill-conceived ego-trip before it defaces Boston's skyline forever. The cost of correcting a 1000ft mistake can only be measured in the thousands of lives.

justin
First off, Vanshnook, you did a GREAT job with this. This is EXACTLY what the moderator should be doing.

Second, how many 1,000 foot towers get scrutinized that harshly? I cant think of many. enlighten me if you wish..... This box with a spire is probably exactly what boston needs. It fits in well with the rest of the slightly boring architecture. Some absurd tower would not fit in. PERIOD.

This is a stepping stone for a whole lot of things IMO. This is 21st century shit right here, even if its not that adventurous architecturally. It fits in well, its got height we dont have, and buildings like the one proposed in chinatown would compliment this well IMO.

Every city needs a building with a spire( probably lit ip) as cliche as it might be. Boston was always afaid of this, and hopefuly it gets built. This is very big for boston arch..... obviously. But if the height gets approved, more conventional buildings with height get approved, and less conventional, abstract buildings get approval at a lower height... ie the building in chinatown.

We have the density, the culture, the "city feel" etc etc. This vastly progresses the city... hopefully. pull the "well if winthrop sq" got built, why cant this??? But dont kill cultural importance like chinatown, northend, back bay etc. Theres still plently of room to get stuff built..... I heard on EEI that their planning something for the front of TD Banknorth garden.... any news on that?
---

Edit: A Moderator should also make sure people spell his name right.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
The cost of correcting a 1000ft mistake can only be measured in the thousands of lives.
Hahahahaha getting a little melodramatic, eh? :wink:
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:21 AM   #11
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I think we should all start making bets on when this is ACTUALLY completed, if at all. I'm saying 2014.

And the chances it does get built..... ehhh... 65/35 it does.

90/10 at a way lower height.

and on second thought, the rendering with the spire in it... does blow ass
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:36 AM   #12
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I really hope something gets built there in the next few years...but I'd rather see it closer in height to the Hancock tower. This thing dwarfs anything around it and sticks out like a soar thumb.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:48 AM   #13
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a soar thumb.
Nice.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:08 AM   #14
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I like the height as is. I don't like the idea of anything higher (right now) or anything smaller. The rendering is fine, I think it fits into the skyline. I can't see much else fitting in here.

It will break up the monotony of the financial district skyline and allow for more scale in the future (e.g. 700-800 footers).

Not to mention, the SST will help this blend better too.

oh yeah... assuming either ever get built.
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrfox
It will break up the monotony of the financial district skyline and allow for more scale in the future (e.g. 700-800 footers).

Not to mention, the SST will help this blend better too.

oh yeah... assuming either ever get built.
That's how I always felt about this project/the financial disctrict in general. I don't think it's a marvel of architecture or anything that is remotely unique. However, if it was something that was cutting edge or out of the norm, it would probably look even worse given the style of buildings already in the area.

If you go back to the first thread, I believe people photoshopped some other buildings into the space, so you could see what the site would look like with some "cutting edge" buildings.

The height in this area is actually pretty nice. You just don't notice it/grasp it because everything is in the 400-600 foot range. They all blend together. Like LRFox stated, I've always been for this building if only to throw a change-up into the area. Then you add in SST and maybe a future 700-800 footer and you'd have a decent skyline with different heights.

Mixing styles is going to be their biggest problem. There's really not a unique skyscraper in Boston and this one won't be the first. It's going to be difficult for one to break the mold so that others can follow, and then it won't look so out of place. I see the height differenciating itself before cutting edge designs.
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonSkyGuy
If you go back to the first thread, I believe people photoshopped some other buildings into the space, so you could see what the site would look like with some "cutting edge" buildings.
I did the digging for you guys. Not to jump back to the other thread but here's the link to the page with some other buildings in the space. As you'll see some would work and look great, others...not so well.

http://architecturalboston.com/forum...=asc&start=465
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:18 PM   #17
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What does it take to be considered "cutting edge"? Contrary to assertions in this thread, this building is very cutting edge. The future is about sustainable design and this building incorporates innovative approaches to sustainability as well as other design features that make it very cutting edge for a skyscraper. A public park at the top of a 1,000 sf tower? Heliostats to direct sunlight into open space within or under the tower? Panels mounted on a "spire" to collect power for the building? All cutting edge, to name a few of the design elements.

Shape and form are not the only things that make a project cutting edge, but if you look at the top of the tower and the bottom of the tower, you will see that it is far from a simple rectangle with an appendage along the side. From the terrace-like form at the top, to the cut outs of the tower at the bottom, to the appendage along its side providing express elevator service to which the "spire" is attached, this building has its share of idiosyncrasies to make it a unique object as well. While not cutting edge in this sense, the visual interest is enhanced by the use of glass with visible structural elements from bottom to top.

I think that it will be a breathtaking addition to the Boston skyline, if it is constructed. I don't know whether it will be, or in what ways the design will be modified if it is, but I certainly hope that it is built - and built in a manner that retains the essence of the proposed design.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:07 PM   #18
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^^^

You have expressed my feelings a lot more clearly than i could have in text. nice post.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #19
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I just hope this doesn't turn into some rehash of the Freedom tower where the original design (Libeskind) was changed by a different firm (Childs) and what we end up with is a tall piece of shit that is devoid of any symbolism or grace of the original design.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, although i didn't like how the top of the Freedom Tower's original design was pretty much a skeleton. The new one does contain some sort of symbolism however; the height from ground to spire is 1776 feet. Corny symbolism, but symbolism nonetheless.

Either way, i hope its minor changes and not something major or a complete redesign. It comes back to an old concept: It may not be Iconic or beloved now, but give it time (see: John Hancock Tower or Prudential Center).
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