Roxbury Living Room

Nicolas Lee (website)
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Option Studio
Faculty: MVRDV (Nathalie de Vries, Fokke Moerel) (website)


Roxbury, a community within the inner city of Boston, seeks to become a more urban, pedestrian friendly city centre. The proposed building is a new urban typology with its radical mixing of housing, hotel, retail, community center, youth center, retail and wellness facilities. The Roxbury City Room is aimed to engage with the surrounding Roxbury community, acting as a public living room promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

The Roxbury Living Room is at Parcel 9, the intersection of Washington Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard, a prime location at the border of Roxbury and South End. Furthermore, Parcel 9 lies between Northeastern University and Boston University Medical Center. Taking advantage of the nearby zones, along with the local gem – Jim Rice Field, the project intends to become a core that houses a radical mix of program and users. The different types of program have different needs and requirements, hence resulting in various shapes, forms and typologies. In order to respect these various needs and to maximize its performance, each individual institution has been given its own shape. Each shape is then stacked together to create an amalgamation of different programs, allowing the sharing of programs and spaces, and promoting interaction between different types of users. The resulting project has dual personality – an iconic and bold architectural manifestation but highly pragmatic organization of program.


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