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Boston Living with Water, an open international design competition, sought design solutions envisioning a beautiful, vibrant, and resilient Boston that is prepared for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels. Fifty teams composed of more than 340 individuals hailing from eight different countries participated in this two-stage competition.  Nine semi-finalists were selected earlier this spring, three for each of three sites. Teams included groups of academics, leading professionals, and large multi-office collaborations.  

After months of deliberation, the jury selected the winners based on each team’s ability to solve multiple challenges, including minimizing damage from chronic and episodic coastal flooding in three different sites: a building, a neighborhood, and a significant piece of city infrastructure.

Special guest, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the three outstanding winning teams. Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Barr Foundation, each of the three main winners will receive a $13,000 prize. In addition, an honorable mention will receive $5,000.

“Competition ideas and strategies are already informing Boston’s future, including revisions to building plans and zoning codes, and influencing ‘Imagine Boston 2030’,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who led the Metro Mayor’s Coalition in signing the Climate Preparedness Commitment. “I congratulate all of the winners on their hard-earned achievements, and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for these designs.”

WINNERS PER SITE:

Site 1: Building–The Prince Building

WINNER: “Prince Building Piers” led by Stephanie Goldberg AIA & Mark Reed AIA, Boston.

Rather than trying to prevent seawater from entering the city, this proposal welcomes the water and repurposes the outer streetscapes to a new urban seashore that is a focus of recreation, ecological reclamation, and new cultural experiences.

Site 2: Neighborhood–The 100 Acres section of Fort Point Channel

WINNER: “ReDeBOSTON 2100” led by Architerra, Boston.

This proposal would raise the entire base and infrastructure of the 100-acre neighborhood by approximately twelve feet, matching the raised elevation of historic Summer Street and creating a resilient development area to serve as a model urban waterfront district for the 21st and 22nd centuries.

Site 3: Infrastructure–Morrissey Boulevard

WINNER: “Total Resilient Approach” led by Thetis S.p.A., Venice.

This proposal considers the transportation infrastructure as a flexible element aimed at performing a wide range of resilient functions.  Raising Morrissey Boulevard and improving its connections to the adjacent neighborhood present an opportunity to redevelop Columbia Point through an overall strategy based on habitat restoration and sustainable urban landscaping.

In addition, an overall HONORABLE MENTION was given to “Resilient Linkages” led by NBBJ, Boston.

This proposal attempts to balance the immediate pressure for development in Fort Point with the long-term understanding that the area will be prone to regular flooding in the future. The plan would establish a new, elevated street grid and require developers to integrate supportive infrastructure for sea level rise into their projects, which could then be linked to form fully-functional, neighborhood-scale infrastructure.

For more details visit, bostonlivingwithwater.org.

The winners’ work along with exhibition content related to coastal flooding will be on display in BSA Space through June 2015.  

Boston Living with Water is a partnership between the City of Boston, The Boston Harbor Association, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Public programs related to the competition are produced by the BSA Foundation.