Boston — Boston’s Government Center Station earned a 2017 Diamond Award in Transportation from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in New York. Project submissions are judged based on innovation, value to the engineering profession, social and economic considerations, complexity and successful fulfillment of client needs.
The project team will be recognized during ACEC New York’s Engineering Excellence Gala at the New York Hilton Midtown on April 1. The project will also advance to ACEC’s national competition, winners of which will be announced April 25 in Washington, D.C., during ACEC’s national awards gala.
The station created a splash when it re-opened for service on March 21, 2016, after two years of closure for renovation. It reopened on-time to the day and on-budget as an entirely re-imagined entry point to one of Boston’s busiest transit hubs.
HDR led engineering and architecture design as the prime consultant for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. With project staff based in both Boston and Manhattan, the firm’s economic analyses helped inform MBTA’s decision to close the station and shave construction time and cost by about three years and $35 million. Final cost was approximately $89 million.
A soaring glass headhouse now adorns the station’s main entryway, and serves as an intuitive access point to the two MBTA station platforms below, while offering three times as many access points as the previous station. In addition to creating an iconic transit symbol, the headhouse transmits ample natural light underground, reducing energy use from lighting while illuminating widened stairways and helping underground passengers better navigate the station. Additional lighting is provided by improved-efficiency bulbs that reduce energy costs by about 15 percent. New escalators, wider sidewalks and redundant elevators also improve access and provide for greater ADA accessibility.
“HDR is honored by this recognition of our design of Boston’s iconic new Government Center station,” said HDR Transit Director Tom Waldron. “We are proud of our role in helping MBTA realize their vision and are happy to celebrate this award with them.”