Handel Architects was named a 2014 American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Design Honor Award winner in the category of Urban Design for Transforming Boston’s Midtown Cultural District. Winners, which were recognized for works throughout the world, were selected by a panel of 12 eminent architects, landscape architects, educators, critics, and planners, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Boston Globe, Robert Campbell.
Blake Middleton, Partner at Handel, serves on the Advisory Board of the School of Architecture. In Spring 2013, he taught the Master Design Studio on Tall Buildings in Historic Centers and was able to use the Millennium Tower as a case study for the course.
After a 30 year history of concerted efforts by the city to improve Boston’s blighted Downtown Crossing neighborhood, dubbed for years the “Combat Zone” locally, Handel Architects helped developer Millennium Partners to create a positive shift for the area with the introduction of residential uses in a neighborhood formerly consisting only of commercial occupancies. The transformation began with the Ritz-Carlton Towers, a large mixed use project, in 2001 and followed by Millennium Place, which opened in fall 2013. It will be followed yet again by the Handel designed, Millennium Tower-Boston, a contemporary residential tower coupled with the restoration of the former Filene’s Department Store Building, a historic landmark designed in 1912 by Daniel Burnham. Handel Architects’ work organizes and vitalizes the street, 24/7, by allowing people to work, live, dine, and shop, in their neighborhood. This urban strategy is the ultimate key to creating the critical mass for effective revitalization in the historic city center of Boston.
Handel Architects’ Transforming Boston’s Midtown Cultural District will be exhibited in the Design Awards exhibition at the AIA Center for Architecture at 530 LaGuardia Place in New York City beginning on Thursday, April 24 through Friday, June 13, 2014. (www.aiany.org/awardslunch).