The Fort Point neighborhood prepares for the 400th anniversary of the City of Boston. Local artists work in their newly built live-work lofts, preparing submissions for ‘Public Art 2030: A Celebration of History and Future’. Outside, decades of planning and public process have become reality. The 100 Acres Master Plan has added creative housing with active ground floor cultural space, as well as industrial and water-dependent uses. The master plan has integrated new policy approaches for a resilient future. Stoops borrow from another classic Boston typology to raise living levels for the future while maintaining a connected ground plane. Basement garages hold shared car fleets and bicycles, centrally managed and easy to evacuate in severe weather.
At the center, the Fort Point Eco-Park and Loom Bridge represent a new approach to community infrastructure. The open space is culturally relevant, with space for performances and physical activity. The bridge provides connectivity, but doesn’t stop there–it’s a destination with a clear identity and commercial relevance, a place for retail as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
This strategy has been designed as a prototype, a kit of resilient parts designed to be implemented all around the Seaport: soft-edged parks that morph into waterways; housing with ground floors that transition both culturally and technologically, neighborhood-scale bridges providing identity, commercial opportunity and lasting pedestrian connections.
Winter Storm Harold hits Boston in January 2065, the 5th storm in two years to drop more than 24 inches of snow on Greater Boston. Storm surges push ocean water through the Fort Point Eco-Park and into the surrounding streets, flooding engineered basements. The wetlands, oyster beds, and artificial islands of the Eco-Park slow the rush of water, protecting the nearby buildings. Shared car fleets have been evacuated by building owners from basement parking areas, which are designed to filter and purify storm water.
As Harold rages on, residents remain at home, situated safely above the high-water mark. Tidal turbines on a local microgrid guarantee access to power. After the storm subsides and the floodwaters linger, transportation to and from Fort Point is maintained by the elevated A Street, which connects Summer Street to the rest of South Boston.
Two hundred years after its industrial heyday, Fort Point Channel is once again a bustling commercial and cultural waterway. The channel is connected to a network of neighborhood canals, lined by floating artist studios and houseboats and connected to pedestrian walkways and vehicular interchange points. Ocean farmers pull in the harvest for the upcoming oyster festival, and transit officials discuss adding ferry capacity to handle all the tourists.
The protective wetlands of the Eco-Park have evolved and deepened; soft green edges mitigate the effect of storm surges and tides on the canal networks. At the center of it all, the Loom Bridge is one of seven “Bridges to History”, a series of programmed, active bridges along the fully-developed Harborwalk–thousands of locals and tourists learn the story of the South Boston Waterfront through these architectural landmarks.
Mixed Paper Design Collaborative
Tyler Shannon – Architect, Project Lead
David Parker – Architect, Project Lead
Nicole Fichera – Economic and Cultural Advisor
Evan Spetrini – Policy and Transportation Advisor
Ann Polaneczky – Civil and Mechanical Engineering Advisor