The Urban In-Between’s Emergence

Harvard GSD
Fall 2018
Boston, MA
with Wen Wang

Located at the junction of Boston city and the remainder of the Greate Boston Region, the site may be described as ‘in-between’ in two senses. First, in the context of the broader scale of the Greater Boston Region; it is located in-between the urban core and the periphery, straddling two categorically different type of development. Second, at the scale of the site, it is concerne with “left-over” spaces in-between a number of well-defined infrastructure projects, ecological habitats, landscape elements and neighborhoods.

The project aims to create a new urban center that negotiates natural and demographic forces present on our site

  1. green: The site is currently interrupting the green corridor extending from Belle Isle Marsh, southeast of our site to Mill Creek in the north east part of the site
  2. Water: The site is in the center of 3 large water bodies and is also facing the flood issue.
  3. neighborhood: there is an industrial cluster existing along Chelsea river that is extending into the site and breaking the neighborhood connections

To negotiate with these forces, we first extend the natural corridor running along the southeast northwest axis (refer to Water diagram). The new water system brought into our site runs parallel to the existing neighborhoods, creating natural buffer around the existing oil tank field, while also programmatically activating the area  

As for the neighborhood forces surrounding our site, we integrate parallel programmatic strips to organize our site along the southwest and northeast axis (Strips diagrams) 

When these two negotiations of forces are overlaid on the site, we get an urban core with two distinct identities. Because of the demographic conditions of the site, our goal is to create a civic center near the existing racially diverse and low-income residents, providing a more landscape driven public space. Additionally, we set a higher density more urban driven district to serve the people with more diverse programmatic needs

3 layers of connections