Northern Avenue Bridge, Vertical Scheme

Posted on June 14th, 2016 by Akash Godbole

Posted under: Competitions

Since 1908 the Northern Avenue Bridge has been heavily used by the Bostons public. Extensive corrosion of the original steel structure created the need for a replacement. The BSA together with the City of Boston and Mayor Walsh recently hosted an ideas competition to explore the future of the beloved bridge. The following is one of two ideas proposed by our office, this one taking the vertical approach. A big thanks to our team Arthur Chang and Nick Safely!


Flat Stanley Title-01

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A city’s skyline is one of its most precious attributes, it defines an iconography, and figures a recognizable identity in the common imagination.  As Boston’s downtown core expands into the seaport district, a gap is forming along the north avenue bridge site as the city grows around it.  The Flat Stanley Storage structure leverages a large infrastructural building –housing boats, cars, bikes and basic harbor functions– to produce a continuity of form in the skyline of Boston, and provide mobility and programmatic amenities unique to the site. The project functions as an icon for and a gateway to the expanded downtown, linking the historic business district to South Boston.

While much like the children’s book character, the Flat Stanley uses its extreme proportions to accomplish what other, more rotund buildings are incapable of, capitalizes on its eccentricity for the production of a public a pedestrian walkway, and a legible civic figure.  Leasable high density parking, boat storage, and rentable bridge level retail provide the capital to fund and sustain the new pedestrian path.  In addition thin film organic photovoltaics cover the ample south facing façade, powering the automatic parking apparatus and providing the development with additional capital when net positive energy is sold to the grid.  The Flat Stanley synergizes several much needed infrastructures into a new icon for the skyline of Boston.

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