The People's Choice for the Most Beautiful New Building in Boston: The Exchange at 100 Federal
Every year, a jury convened by the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA/AIA) is asked to award the Harleston Parker Medal, which recognizes the most beautiful piece of architecture, building, monument, or structure built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years." But they're not the only ones who have a say.
In 2019, the jury narrowed a list of nearly 100 projects down to just four finalists. The finalists are a diverse set, varying in scale, program, user type, existing conditions, and aesthetics:
- Collier Memorial, designed by Howeler + Yoon Architecture for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- The Exchange at 100 Federal, designed by Perkins and Will for Boston Properties
- Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, comprising 181 Massachusetts Avenue, designed by Maya Lin Studio with Bialosky and CannonDesign, and 22 Windsor Street, designed by Toshiko Mori Architect for Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
- The Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, designed by Hopkins Architects with Bruner/Cott for Harvard University
During January 2020, the BSA opened up the polls for the 2019 People’s Choice Award. Everyone interested in architecture and design was invited to participate, selecting their favorite from the 2019 Harleston Parker Medal finalists. When the polls closed on January 23, the people had chosen their winner.
For the second year in a row, the people chose differently than the Harleston Parker jury, making The Exchange at 100 Federal the 2019 winner.
Of The Exchange, the jury said:
"This project has an all-over wow factor, fitting snugly alongside a dark and overbearing 1970s tower to add an expansive, all-weather urban plaza in sleek—but not too sleek!—steel and glass. The clarity and wholeness of the project are amplified by its clean and airy interior, which feels bright even on a gloomy day. Both client and architect should be credited with the success of the space, which is always active but not over-commercialized. Guests enjoy options for food and drink but there is plenty of open space for business and social gathering or for simply passing though on one’s way to work. The Exchange at 100 Federal empowers us to ask more of our common spaces. It is truly the Financial District’s living room."
People's Choice Award voting won't take place again until January 2021, but that doesn't mean you can't have your say about beauty in Greater Boston right now. The BSA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Harleston Parker Medal. Have a structure in mind? Email [email protected] with subject line "2020 Harleston Parker Medal" and the project name, designer, and location. You could see it as a finalist for the Harleston Parker Medal and the People's Choice Award next year!