The vertical courtyards are ecologically vibrant. They sustain urban agriculture and maintain a lush environment of hanging gardens nourished by a continuous source of dripping water, fueled by a recirculating system of above-freezing sea water. This free cooling source also acts as an essential component of a heat pump system that tempers the ventilation systems in summer and winter creating comfortable living conditions year round at minimal expense of energy. A large scale screen of hanging plants unifies the “piers’ of housing into a coherent whole and protects the interior court from sun and wind. Rain water is collected, stored and re-sold to the MWRA for use in times of extreme drought.
The conversion of Commercial Street to a beach and grassland takes decades, beginning with the closing of the road, parking lots and garages along its length. Access to the commercial spaces and residences transitions from cars and trucks to bicycles and drones. Ground around coastal buildings is built up with drumlin-like berms. High and low cuisine meet in new beach-based food kiosks and the urban seashore becomes one of the nation’s top tourist attractions and serves as a world-wide model of successful integration of climate change.
Stephanie Goldberg, AIA Architect/ Design
Mark Reed, AIA Architect/ Design