General Services Administration, Boston, MA
The restoration of a civic landmark provides a national model for sustainable preservation and the “triple bottom line”
A national model of environmental, social and economic sustainability, our renovation of the historic, 22-story John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse successfully created modern, flexible offices and amenity spaces while restoring heritage areas and achieving LEED Gold Certification. Located in the heart of Boston, with proximity to multiple public transportation options and urban housing, the renovated facility demonstrates the viability of building reuse to avoid the impacts of new construction, while increasing occupancy density and providing the sense of place and monumentality that the original design intended.
A superb example of monumental Art Deco civic architecture, the building contains rich details executed in a wide variety of materials. Our renovation restored the primary spaces including the original courtrooms, elevator lobbies, and library. The design salvaged remnants of the original office corridor that existed on several floors to create one floor as a “memory” of what the building once was. Successfully opening the floor plan on the other floors ensures maximum flexibility while providing exterior views for 90 percent of building occupants.
- While retaining its function as a federal courthouse, including its historic courtrooms and library, the building features the adaptive reuse of the former U.S. Post Office areas to serve as offices for a number of federal agencies.
- New spaces include a conference center, cafeteria, main floor lobby, public center, and fitness center.
- Formal peer reviews as part of the GSA Design Excellence Program offered further feedback in the intricate balancing of program requirements such as security, accessibility, energy management, operational efficiency, life safety, and environmental sustainability.
- One of the key sustainable design elements of the renovation is a new, two-level green roof, visible to all tenant spaces and from adjacent buildings. Storm water from a portion of the building’s roof is captured and stored in cisterns, then pumped to the fifth-floor green roof using solar energy from a panel located on the 17th floor roof.