SOCIAL HOUSING I 2010-2011 Sargent Wharf, Boston, MA
GFA 12000 m2, 9,6 millions USD, 7 storeys Design: Mattia Malavenda in collaboration with Metrogramma Client: Boston Housing Authority
The Sargent Wharf social housing is one of the two project sites of the international architecture competition called ReGen Boston, sponsorized by BHA.
The project site is located on a wharf occupied by a public car park and evidently its potentiality as a enjoyable place to have a walk along the Boston Bay are not well expressed so the Authority wants to explore strategies of urban regeneration.
The urban fabric of the context is clearly characterized by the wharfs and the building on top of them, with their elongated shape, like fingers, toward the sea.
The lot is 58 m wide and 120 m long, with a recess of 10 m at the water edge, so it's possible to design a building with U-shape building with a central courtyard open to the seafront. The width of the building is 15 m and formally mantain the same morphology of the rest North-End seafront.
The building assume a profile of gradual growth in height - the south side from 3 to 5 storeys and the north side from 5 to 7 storeys - so that this central landscaped space is sufficiently exposed to the direct sunlight, especially in winter.
The west elevation on Commercial Street is like a box, consistant in height, with a central portal that opens the visual to the internal space and where is present a portico and the entrance of the car park level.
The north block, at a certain point, rotate of about 30 degrees and is designed overhanged about 8 metres at the fourth floor. This rotation align the axis of this part of building in correspondence with the center of the Boston harbour ocean’s entrance providing amazing views. The same rotation that breaks the linearity of the building block is present also in other wharfs of the area.
The housing program provides 150 apartments divided into four size-type from 50 to 100 square meters, accomodating people of all stages of life like students, singles, couples, family, elders. on each floors the types are mixed.
The building try to respond to the request of affordable housing, so the construction is designed to be built with standardized stand-alone modular structures.
Local red masonry is used as facade material to integrate the building in the context.