After private equity giant The Blackstone Group acquired the commercial portfolio of Equity Office Properties in 2007, most of the assets were resold within six months. But in a few markets, Boston included, Blackstone saw the opportunity to transform some of the buildings it had acquired into Class A properties with higher market values. One Post Office Square in Boston was one such property. Located in the heart of the city’s financial and business district, the building was ideally situated but lacked the presence and street-level amenities necessary to command higher rents—until CBT Architects was called in to help reposition it with a breathtaking lobby renovation.
One Post Office Square is just one of several Boston properties that CBT has helped Blackstone re-energize through design, but principal Robert Brown counts it as one of his favorites. “The client wanted to make a big statement,” he says. “This building in particular was to be a museum piece.” A three-story lobby opportunity helped the cause. “It is not the most attractive building,” Brown notes. But CBT’s renovation featuring a floor-to-ceiling, Pilkington glass façade for the new lobby has created a light, open, volumetric space at ground level whose dramatic presence is in direct contrast to the concrete architecture of the building.
Set across the street from its namesake, Post Office Square, the building also begged for a lobby that would incorporate the beauty of the park as a “fourth dimension” of the design, according to Brown. By designing a floor-to-ceiling glass box that pushes 3 ft. beyond the building’s façade, CBT also created a naturally lit “public room,” where building tenants can meet and greet visitors, hold receptions and special events, or simply sit and enjoy the seasonal views of the adjacent park. “The city was also happier, because now the building is much more engaging of the street,” notes Brown.
Adding to the brightness of the new space, a white-on-white palette in the lobby includes a main wall featuring slabs of Italian Statuario marble laid up in a pattern to represent the Apennines Mountains where it originates. The soft white Capavola marble flooring and white glass with stainless accent columns complete the main lobby design.
Client: Equity Office Properties. Architect, interior designer: CBT Architects. Structural engineer: LeMessurier Consultants Inc. Mechanical engineer: Cosentini Associates Inc. Electrical engineer: Gaston Electric. General contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction. Lighting designer: Schweppe Lighting Design Inc. Stone Consultant/Installer: Kenneth Castellucci & Associates, Inc. Photographer: Chuck Choi.
Wallcoverings: Statuario Carrara marble. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Laminate: Liri Flooring: Carpavola marble. Carpet/carpet tile: Karastan Contract. Carpet fiber: Ultron Nylon type 6.6. Carpet backing: Tred Mor Cushion. Lighting: Lutron Dimmer System. Doors: Ellison Balanced Door; Crane Revolving Door. Glass: BPG, Bendheim, Pilkington Window treatments: Lutron. Lounge seating: Cassina of Italy.
Location: Boston, MA. Total floor area: 7,700 sq. ft. No. of floors: 1.