177 Huntington Avenue, Boston
How do you revitalize a landmark?
Boston’s landmark 177 Huntington Avenue is one of four buildings I.M. Pei designed for the Christian Science Plaza in Boston. The current owner, Beacon Capital, wanted to increase the building’s profile and appeal to technology- and media-savvy tenants. ESI Design worked with architecture firm NBBJ on a redesign that celebrates and enlivens the building’s modernist architecture.
Focusing on the lobby, ESI transformed the cavernous and somewhat cold space into one that is fresh and inviting. Custom LED lighting, hidden in strips of brushed steel, reflects off the polished cement wall. The ambient media, also visible from outside the building, visually interprets changing weather conditions, the seasons, and the ripples on the reflecting pool outside on the plaza. New seating invites visitors to mingle and relax.
In the elevator bay, high-resolution, 22-feet-by-6-inch LEDs extending from the floor to the ceiling display information about the neighborhood, local events, weather, and the stock market.
On the exterior of the building, the top and bottom of the plaza-facing side are illuminated by soft washes, respectfully setting it within its surroundings. On the side facing the Massachusetts Turnpike, a band of light spans the height of the building, making it visible to passing traffic.
Today, 177 Huntington stands out on the plaza and in the city, its tenants have a “place” to work in, and Boston has a refreshed landmark that is positioned firmly in the present.