The Navy Yard, located in Charlestown, Massachusetts, is a landmark for the City of Boston and the region, drawing some one million visitors a year. In 2017, Agency’s Brie Hensold led an effort, while a principal at Sasaki, to transform the visitor experience of the Navy Yard Historical Park called the Visitor Experience Plan. Among many ideas, the Visitor Experience Plan contemplated improvements to the arrival of the Yard – to better welcome guests and tell more deeply the storied history of the Yard in its public spaces.
We are now working closely with project lead Marble Fairbanks and their recently completed Pre-Design Report for a new, 86,000 square foot Gateway Center at Hoosac at the Yard. This new mixed-use building will be situated at the “front door” of the Navy Yard and is adjacent to the historic Freedom Trail and Boston Harbor. It will feature space for an expanded USS Constitution Museum, a reimagined National Parks Visitor Center, and consolidated office space for the National Parks of Boston. Schematic Design of the new building is underway now.
Agency’s role on the team, in deep collaboration with MFA, IDEO, Jacobs Engineer and a client team that includes the United States National Park Service, the USS Constitution Museum Staff, the US Navy and the Boston Parks Service, is to develop a unifying landscape strategy for the site. Integrating larger civic systems – like the Freedom Trail and the Harborwalk – are key to the exploration and offer exciting points of connection. Providing delightful new ways to move from the neighborhood, through the museum, onto the harbor and the ship and into the Yard is also central to our ongoing study.