645 Summer Street

Upscale office space and amenities designed to draw entrepreneurial companies to Boston’s Innovation District

Boston, MA
150,000 sf
Project Team
Koos Louw, Principal-in-Charge
Stephanie López de Veraza, Project Manager
Diana Ostberg, Project Manager, BIM
Design Team
Katie Kernizan
James Machek

Saam Architecture is responsible for the current revitalization of 645 Summer Street on the Boston Waterfront. The building has undergone a complete envelope renewal and a core and shell upgrade with smart amenities, waterfront views, and a harborside pedestrian promenade along the Reserved Channel. These improvements aim to lure new entrepreneurial talent to this edge of Boston’s Innovation District.

“The Saam Architecture team is proud to collaborate with this project team and to contribute to the next generation of office buildings in Boston’s Innovation District,” said Diana Nicklaus, President and CEO of Saam Architecture. “The transformation of 645 Summer Street provides Boston’s innovation community with an alternative waterfront location in an emerging business district of Boston.”

Saam has reconceived the 150,000-square-foot two-story structure as a tribute to the iconic shipping containers at the nearby Conley Container Terminal in homage to the marine related industrial/manufacturing history of the area. The existing precast concrete façade panels have been rearranged to reference the containers’ vertical metal paneling and the gray sheen of industrial steel and aluminum. This approach vastly improves natural light penetration into tenant offices. Full-height energy efficient glazing complements 14-foot ceilings in the workplace, yielding a lofty, open feel to promote occupant productivity and collaboration.

The new curtain wall visually connects occupants and visitors to the recently expanded Boston Harborwalk along the Reserved Channel. They enter a soaring, energized lobby equipped with food services and a monumental stair to a common roof deck. Other amenities include spacious bathrooms with lockers and showers, comfortable lactation rooms, bike storage, and an artisanal eatery. The renovation, targeting LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, incorporates roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, a tenant bicycle storage facility, and energy-efficient electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

A new 15-foot-wide sculpted concrete podium separates the building from Pappas Way, providing accessible entry to the building, outdoor seating spaces, and a safety barrier between people and traffic. To further enhance pedestrian safety, additional measures have been introduced to slow down traffic on Pappas Way.

Built in 1966 as a printing company’s local headquarters, the building remains a central anchor for the Boston Marine Industrial Park, which runs along the southeastern edge of the Harborwalk’s Reserved Channel segment. This area provides a home to the Boston Athletic Club, DHL Express, FedEx, UPS, W.B. Mason, and other major businesses. Construction is projected to be complete in 2019.

Targeting LEED Gold