Columbia Point, the peninsula extending into Dorchester Bay, is separated from Dorchester proper by the overwhelming presence of Interstate 93. The new redevelopment plan by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) for Columbia Point proposed a densification of the area adjacent to the JFK-UMass Red Line Train Stop. The existing parks and green space on Columbia Point allow for many residents to escape to the ocean and enjoy the open air and views of Boston. There’s a place for sports, but no place for community. This project will become a haven for community interactions. People of Dorchester will be able to interact with each other, the land, and the building, creating a sense of local pride that all can enjoy.
This project will bring community gardens, and a community pavilion. The space will be filled with gardens that individuals and groups can rent and call their own. The pavilions and green houses will serve as places for the public to be educated on how to grow and care for native plants. From the kindergartner to the retired couple, people of all ages will be able to come and enjoy the green space that they have had a hand in creating. The large open spaces will host farmers markets, art shows, and outdoor concerts, which will allow the community to interact with each other, as well as the gardens they have grown.
The project will also encourage a pedestrian friendly environments that is already being proposed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. It will tie in with the existing parks to the North, Joe Moakley Park, as well as connect to the JFK/UMass Red Line train stop.
The purpose of the pavilion is to serve as support to the entire site. It becomes a place where the community can interact with each other, as well as physically interact with the building. The pavilion is constructed of mainly precast concrete elements, and prefabricated curtain wall elements. The combination of precast and prefab allows the building to be constructed quickly, and in a more cost effective manner. Although the thought of concrete brings images of heavy structural elements, the pavilion clad with glass begins to look light and flexible.
The building is composed of a series of prefabricated elements to ease construction and cost. Since this is going to be a community building, it is essential to provide a stable, efficient building, but with low maintenance and construction costs. These pieces that make up the building are 24” square precast columns, precast L beams, precast inverted tees, 4’ wide concrete hollow core planks, precast wall panels, a green wall system, curtain wall systems, 4” square hollow structural steel, and metal grate flooring. The only custom pieces would partially be those that made up the greenhouses. The prefabricated structure is all stabilized and braced by the cast in place core that houses vertical circulation, rest rooms, and mechanical shafts.
© 2020 Jeff Porter