Studio: Lifestyle

Internship: Summer 2017

Office & Project Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Supervisor: J.F. Finn III, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal

Program Coordinators: Adam Harper, Project Architect, Associate / Diana Vasquez, Architect, Senior Associate

Intern Team Members: Addison Silva­­, UConn Marketing / Lily Shi, Cornell Design & Environmental Analysis / Lindsay Hague­, Endicott Interior Design / Longshao (Ross) Xiao, WashU Architecture / Luis Negron, UPR Rio Piedras Architecture / Peijun Shi, Parsons Interior Design / Rebecca Resnic, WashU Architecture / Tianyi Sun, UPenn Architecture / Yang Zhao, Cornell Architecture

The Link: Urban Gondola

With the task of connecting a currently disconnected North and South Station in Boston, Massachusetts, this proposal speculates about an efficient, economical, yet ambitious option that challenges the already explored notion of a multi-billion-dollar process of boring tunnels for subterranean connections: an airborne alternative via cable-propelled transit. Executed by a diverse team of ten, inside and (voluntarily) outside of Gensler’s Boston office, this demanding intern project involved a historical survey, site analysis, and design process that led to an enticingly-new urban vision that would help alleviate public transit congestion in Boston, flying above the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. By drawing the longest and least amount of straight lines along the Greenway, understanding the limits of a variety of differing gondola systems, distinct site nodes were generated at their intersections. Utilizing a 3S cable car system to provide the necessary infrastructure to move 3,600 people per/hour, per/direction, following suit with cities such as New York and London, this proposal continues an international trend but sparks a local, city-wide dialogue about the future of public transit.

The following list includes key design strategies for the proposed South Station/Dewey Square Gondola Station, seen in the first rendering in the gallery to the right: preserve existing public space that supports farmer’s markets, food trucks, and other tactical urbanism at street-level; allow existing site lines (e.g. pathways, greenspace edges, and tree lines) to generate an appropriate building footprint that leads to a building that belongs in its immediate site context; utilize existing tunnel infrastructure to support new gondola station loads; design the rooftop and various interior elements to play the role as an extension to the Greenway; and create a pedestrian bridge that allows easy access to the gondola loading dock from High Street. Based on the placement of the Parcel 18 (Urban Arboretum) station and an existing building between Dewey Square and Congress Street, the gondolas would have to be received above the road where Purchase Street terminates at Summer Street. With 26 feet of clearance above street-level, the gondola station seemingly hovers above busy traffic. The station's form then frames a new threshold for passerby, whether on foot or wheels, to experience Purchase Street and a new Dewey Square dynamic of people, place, and transit.

Note: Overall site plan graphics by Rebecca Resnic / Final board layout by Addison Silva / North Station architecture by Longshao (Ross) Xiao & Rebecca Resnic / Parcel 18 architecture by Yang Zhao & Luis Negron / Overall interior design by Lily Shi, Peijun Shi, and Lindsay Hague / Gondola vehicle design and structural towers by Tianyi Sun

Additional Credit: White building skin scripted by Yang Zhao / Detailed mechanical areas for gondola system modeled by Luis Negron