archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Development Projects

Development Projects New urban and/or architectural developments in Boston metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-16-2015, 04:29 PM   #1
stellarfun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: salem ma and washington dc
Posts: 4,418
Proposed Courtyard Infill Project |500 Boylston | Back Bay

" fill in the “underutilized” oval-shaped courtyard in front of the tower with 80,000 square feet of office and retail space. The company also said it wanted to convert 50,000 square feet of office space to more retail space."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...aaP/story.html
__________________
A man gazing on the stars is at the mercy of the puddles in the road
stellarfun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
whighlander
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lexington
Posts: 6,519
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
" fill in the “underutilized” oval-shaped courtyard in front of the tower with 80,000 square feet of office and retail space. The company also said it wanted to convert 50,000 square feet of office space to more retail space."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...aaP/story.html
We are supposed to hear more as the article says in about a month

Meanwhile perhaps we can get a list of how many 19th C lamps were misappropriated from the BPL and turned up at 500 Boylston
whighlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 04:49 PM   #3
bigeman312
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Jamaica Plain
Posts: 1,431
Re: 500 Boylston

I'm really glad they are better utilizing this plaza (read: vacant, unused concrete plot).

Also, I hold an unpopular (around here) opinion of 500 Boylston: I really like it and always have! I love how intimidating, in a good way, the massing feels when entering the "plaza." With that being said, bravo that they are putting better use to the land. I will mourn, however, the loss of my favorite PoMo (I can be corrected, as I'm no expert on architectural styles) architectural experience in the city.
bigeman312 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
BussesAin'tTrains
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Union Sq, Somerville
Posts: 3,415
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
I'm really glad they are better utilizing this plaza (read: vacant, unused concrete plot).

Also, I hold an unpopular (around here) opinion of 500 Boylston: I really like it and always have!
You're not alone.
BussesAin'tTrains is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 07:10 PM   #5
citylover94
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: White River Jct.
Posts: 1,075
Re: 500 Boylston

I like this building too but I think that plaza is kind of pointless in that there is not a reason to go inside. I hope the addition matches the building or contrasts with it well. I would leave a setback from the sidewalk where the entrance to the current plaza is.
citylover94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 07:53 PM   #6
Lisbon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 101
Re: 500 Boylston

I like this building too. I can understand where the hate is coming from, and I am happy that Stern designed it's neighbor, but I'm a fan of how it interacts with its peers in the Back Bay skyline.

The courtyard is visually appealing, but I agree that there's never any reason to use it. I remember being awed the first time I saw it, and haven't stepped into it since. In that regard, I am OK with filling it in, given that the design is attractive. One thing I will miss is looking up at the building from just outside the courtyard. It's my favorite angle of the building.

Overall, I think Phillip Johnson's PoMo contributions to Boston (this and IP) are better than many of his other PoMo stuff.
Lisbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 08:35 PM   #7
mcus29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 176
Re: 500 Boylston

I hate it. The over proportion of everything I'm sure was intensional but it's like a giant exclamation point on how insignificant the experience of walking thru here is.
mcus29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 09:24 PM   #8
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 6,195
Re: 500 Boylston

I'll take 500 Boylston over International Place any day. But the courtyard is dead space even when people are coming and leaving work. An indoor retail/winter garden would be a huge boost not just to usage but to the property value.
__________________
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 03-16-2015, 10:05 PM   #9
TomOfBoston
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 694
Re: 500 Boylston

When the project was first proposed, it was to be twin buildings.
TomOfBoston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 10:09 PM   #10
Brad Plaid
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 826
Re: 500 Boylston

Good news. Would love to see a Zaha Hadid-ish glass winter garden bubble blob thing happen.
Brad Plaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 10:35 PM   #11
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,560
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcus29 View Post
I hate it. The over proportion of everything I'm sure was intensional but it's like a giant exclamation point on how insignificant the experience of walking thru here is.
The fact the whole building is shaped like a giant Palladian window is a literal middle finger to Boston and critique of his own post-modernism that he was becoming very very tired of. It's a brilliant PoMo building that demonstrates just how absurd PoMo actually is.

I really love 500 Boylston, not just because of the statement it makes about Post-Modernism, but because it's actually a good looking building.

Highly recommend this fantastic article about why Johnson designed 500 Boylston the way he did: http://www.iqubeddesign.com/thespace...-middle-finger
__________________
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report: regionalrail.net
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL
datadyne007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 11:47 PM   #12
mcus29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 176
Re: 500 Boylston

Ok. Not that this building compares to the misery of the Town Hall building but wasn't that a big deal for brutalism when it was built?
mcus29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 06:21 AM   #13
FK4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,943
Re: 500 Boylston

This is one of the best buildings in Boston. It looks great from Storrow: my favorite panorama is this with the two Hancocks. I like the courtyard. Who gives a shit if it's "underutilized"? It looks good. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley. When I ride my bike around here I'll often take a little dip into the courtyard. It has cold, quiet feel. Sometimes that kind of space is nice. And now they're going to ruin it.
FK4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 06:27 AM   #14
bigeman312
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Jamaica Plain
Posts: 1,431
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by FK4 View Post
Who gives a shit if it's "underutilized"? It looks good. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.
Who gives a shit if it "looks good?" It's underutilized. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.

We won't see eye to eye on this one. In this case, I value utility over aesthetics, and you value aesthetics over utility. So be it.
bigeman312 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 08:39 AM   #15
akmags
Member
 
akmags's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Dedham
Posts: 78
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
I'll take 500 Boylston over International Place any day. But the courtyard is dead space even when people are coming and leaving work. An indoor retail/winter garden would be a huge boost not just to usage but to the property value.
They have a winter garden -- it sits between the connection of 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley.

There is a neat public corridor in this building. If you've never been inside, I recommend checking it out.
akmags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 09:17 AM   #16
elemenoh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 243
Re: 500 Boylston

I have fond memories of going to 500 Boylston for my first job interview back in the early 1990s. I loved that odd angled outdoor passage that went between Rebecca's and Skipjack's. The courtyard was never programmed appropriately, so of course it was a lifeless place. Despite the nice fountains, there was never really anywhere to sit and eat your lunch, so people went to Copley Square instead.
elemenoh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 09:44 AM   #17
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,560
Re: 500 Boylston

While the courtyard looks cool from Google Maps, it's totally void of life for the pedestrian experience. Building out a streetwall onto Boylston with retail is a fantastic idea. Right now it's quite literally a massive hole in the Boylston streetwall.
__________________
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report: regionalrail.net
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL
datadyne007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 10:24 AM   #18
FK4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,943
Re: 500 Boylston

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
Who gives a shit if it "looks good?" It's underutilized. Guess what - if you want a nice open space, walk yourself 100 feet west and go to Copley.

We won't see eye to eye on this one. In this case, I value utility over aesthetics, and you value aesthetics over utility. So be it.
yes, de gustibus non est disputandum.

still, to me there sometimes is a too much pressure for streetwalls, street level retail, and making sure every single public space is "utilized". i disagree with this philosophy. this is a cold part of boylston, but it's not dead, and it's never going to be lively like other stretches owing to the types of buildings on this block. it feels monumental and it should. it just doesnt bother me. like parts of stewart. the stone quietude is nice. we dont need every single road and space to be quincy market or coolidge corner. its nice to have quiet spots that ARENT so appealing to everyone that theyre choked with crowds, just to go think in peace for a few minutes.
FK4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 12:46 PM   #19
davem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Assembly Square
Posts: 2,262
Re: 500 Boylston

I also like 500 Boylston, far more than its neighbor with those gigantic urns.

As for the courtyard, if it was on the opposite side of the street and got some sun it would be a loss, but as it stands it's perpetually dark, cold and damp. The lack of any meaningful programming is the final nail in the coffin. Good to see something being done with it, it always felt like a waste.
__________________
FP10 on railroad.net
Flickr Photostream
Designs
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2015, 01:18 PM   #20
sm89
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Somerville
Posts: 762
Re: 500 Boylston

I've always liked the building, though maybe it's because I also liked the show Boston Legal which was "set" there. It should look great with the courtyard filled in.
sm89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
back bay, cbt, copley, infill, philip johnson

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
MassDOT Pike Parcels 12 - 15 | Boylston St. and Mass. Ave | Back Bay Mike Development Projects 987 11-13-2018 01:38 PM
Boston Properties Office Tower | 888 Boylston Street | Back Bay Rick Development Projects 1176 06-24-2018 01:22 PM
Boylston West @ Fenway Triangle (Van Ness) | 1325 Boylston Street | Fenway Mike Development Projects 679 10-06-2017 01:40 PM
Mandarin Oriental | 776 Boylston St | Back Bay LeTaureau Development Projects 796 01-08-2016 08:32 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.