Island Within An Island

Christopher Beck (website)
Rhode Island School of Design
Urban Design Principles
Faculty: Jim Barnes (website)


Since Boston’s inception as a colony, its relationship to water has been an important defining characteristic, not only in terms of physical boundaries but also cultural identity. The North End especially embodies these characteristics because of its history as a part of the original city. Located originally on the Shawmut Peninsula, the North End has always existed as an island, surrounded by water on most of its boundaries. Historical developments have only reinforced this; from Mill Pond and subsequent Mill Creek, to Interstate 93 and its reversal through the “Big Dig,”  to today’s Greenway. The same is true culturally: immigrants throughout history have arrived at and populated the neighborhood, and today the North End is known for it’s Italian identity and heritage.


↑Original “edge” matrix models 

↑Six circulation cores are introduced into the interior matrix
↑Edges, cores, and units integrated with site conditions

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