Large new store with basement on very poor ground, adjacent to senstive historical buildings. Features a spectacular two-storey glass spiral staircase, cantilevering off a central loadbearing glass drum.

AIA California Council Honor Award 2010

Boston Preservation Achievement Award 2009 – Significant New Construction

American Architecture Awards, The Chicago
Anthanaeum and The European Center for Architecture 2009

Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design Excellence


We were responsible for the entire structure of this new five-storey building in the historic centre of Boston, Massachusetts.

The new piled basement sits below the waterline in the challenging Back Bay area. Careful consideration of the foundations was needed to prevent damage to fragile buildings on either side, which sit on timber piles.

Above street level, the main structure is a steel frame. It derives its lateral stability from frame action. This avoids the need for concrete cores and other vertical structures in the central area of the main retail space.

The glass facade has a continuous deep recess at ground floor level. Consequently, the massive glass frame supporting the facade is designed as a moment frame, only taking vertical support at roof level and horizontal restraint at the first floor. The result is a dramatic glass box applied to the front of the building, evoking the 5th Avenue Cube, with an apparently simple glass storefront at street level.

A two-storey glass spiral stair sits in the central space. Similar to the 14th St store in New York, this is supported at floor level with cantilevering glass beams spanning across a central glass drum.

Boston, MA


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson