A Modern Icon, Refreshed

Built in 1973 as part of Boston’s iconic Christian Science Plaza,
177 Huntington Avenue was a bold modernist landmark in need of a refresh.

The 26-story, 200,000-square-foot office tower, located in the desirable Back Bay neighborhood, had recently been converted from the Christian Science world headquarters to a home for several technology firms. The lobby, however, remained outdated with over-lacquered dark tiles, covered windows and inadequate furniture. To attract even more quality tenants, Beacon Capital Partners asked NBBJ to enhance the public spaces and create new tenant amenities.

The new, more welcoming lobby is no longer a place for passing through, but a place for spending time. With a new café and expanded seating, tenants are now able to socialize, meet with clients and collaborate informally — hallmarks of contemporary working lifestyles. The materials are upgraded as well, with lighter floor finishes, a new color palette and improved daylighting.

To create visual interest and further engage with tenants, NBBJ and ESI Design collaborated to devise a media wall that projects wave patterns of the reflecting pool outside. LED lighting also enhances the elevator bank. Outside, dramatic uplighting celebrates the building’s bold architectural details, and a new glass and steel canopy, designed by NBBJ to complement the I.M. Pei & Partners-designed concrete exterior, increases the visibility of the entrance.

Video: Media Wall

Awards and Publications

Awards

Interior Design, Best of Year Finalist, Public Space: Lobby

Publications

Architectural Digest, “New LED Lights Illuminate an I.M. Pei Icon,” September 30, 2014
Architectural Record, “177 Huntington Avenue,” May 2015