Gateway at Charles Circle

Boston, MA

Competition Entry

Gateway at Charles Circle Entry

Great Cities can be showplaces for enlightened ideas that bring people together. Gateway at Charles Circle is the celebration of an entry gate to Boston. Its materials and forms reinforce the vocabulary of the Longfellow Bridge and provide clarity and definition to the pedestrian, automobile, and train movement though the re-established circle. Its curved, organic whole integrates this proposed development with adjacent buildings, activities and neighborhoods. This not only reinforces the original, city square, but provides a sequence of buildings that form a harmony of parts based on interdependence: the sum of the parts is greater than the individual pieces.

This development provides ease of pedestrian movement from sidewalk to platform and ties together the termini of both Charles and Cambridge Streets. The arcades, promenades, and verandas, which face the Charles River are “places for community” and link Gateway at Charles Circle to the Longfellow Bridge, The Esplanade and other parks along the embankment. Its circular form reinforces the larger urban place. In the center of the circle, a central ring of trees surrounds a laser shaft of light, which will become a landmark for the entire City of Boston. The glazed subway enclosure provides a transparent, covered shelter for transit riders and assists in the active mitigation of train noise from the neighborhood. This development also leaves open the possibility for future underground expansion of other extended train lines.

Boston must shape its public places to be more inclusive and accessible. Gateway at Charles Circle applies the timeless ingredients of past monuments to contemporary pragmatic challenges of tomorrow. It provides Boston with a development of civic architecture, establishing a bridge to the next century that serves the community and reawakens our public spirit.