Fan Pier is being transformed into a vibrant, pedestrian friendly neighborhood alongside Boston Harbor in South Boston. This new 21-acre mixed-use development links the adjacent financial district to the waterfront and extends the Boston HarborWalk to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). RBA’s master plan employs a consistent family of furnishings and plantings to unify the district.
Within this development, RBA designed and implemented the first new park space for the area, the Public Green. Recognizing the variety of dramatic views, changing sun exposure throughout the day, and steady coastal breezes, the design for the park takes advantage of the site’s inherent characteristics. Alternating layers of perennial, shrub, and tree plantings delineate distinct promenades through the park. At the western edge, the Public Green envelops Marina Park Drive. Claiming it as part of the park, this tree-lined passage encourages pedestrian flow between the adjacent building and the park. Raised granite planters define the vehicular way within the continuous ground plane of paving stretching from the building facade to the elevated seatwall edge of the park.
Continuing eastward, an expansive wooden deck creates a pedestrian esplanade that leads park users to and from the HarborWalk edge and the city. Moveable chairs and tables under a canopy of deciduous trees provide casual gathering locations. The deck serves as a stage for smaller events with informal seating on the adjacent lawn. The expansive, elevated central green terminates in a continuous seatwall overlooking the HarborWalk and the marina beyond.