The Van Ness

Boston, MA

Project Description

The Van Ness is a recently completed mixed-use development in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. The project comprises two towers, one residential and one commercial, connected by ground-floor retail, occupying an entire city block. We were responsible for the design of the streetscape as well as 30, 000 square feet of roof terraces for this LEED Gold certified project. The streetscape design, which incorporates bands of granite and permeable pavers, has established a standard for the Boylston Street Corridor in the Fenway Neighborhood. A mini-park enlivens the street frontage with its wood and steel benches, plantings, specialty paving, and bike racks. A three-level, 20,000-square foot roof terrace connects the two mid-rise buildings. On the fourth floor, the lower level of the roof terrace provides outdoor gathering areas for workers in the office tower, and a fifth-floor terrace serves as an amenity for the residential tower. A granite-clad, serpentine wall and planter mediate the 20-foot elevation difference between the two levels. The design also incorporates linear walks and seat walls that emphasize the sight lines through these spaces to the neighborhood beyond.

On top of the residential tower, 180 feet above the street, a penthouse roof terrace provides panoramic views. Overlapping shade sails, illuminated at night, provide spatial definition and a comfortable human scale. Beneath the sails, we laid out places for sitting and grilling on a terrace floor composed of contrasting bands of pavers and wood tiles.


Client: Samuels & Associate
Collaborators: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Images: Jane Messinger, LJLA