Boston’s Financial District will soon welcome the groundbreaking Winthrop Center, a year-round, mixed-use gathering space with a suite of impressive eco-friendly credentials. Designed by Handel Architects in partnership with MIT professors, Winthrop Center will not only target LEED certifications and a WELL certification but is also expected to become the largest Passive House-certified office building in the world. The project takes COVID-19-era concerns into account with its emphasis on healthier indoor environments and will include features such as MERV 15 filtration and airtight workspaces that minimise moisture transfer and entry of contaminants.

Slated for completion in 2022, the 691-foot-tall Winthrop Center will come complete with more than 1.8 million square feet of mixed-use programs, featuring 812,000 square feet of Global Class A office space, 572,000 square feet of residential space (with 321 luxury housing units) and the renovating of the standing One Winthrop Square into an elaborate new public space with year around programming. The project centres around The Connector, a ground-floor urban “living room” enshrouded in 50-foot-tall glass walls that opens to Winthrop Square and Federal Street to access the pedestrian sector. The gathering space will be accessible to the public year round, morning, noon and night.

To adhere to LEED standards, the Winthrop Center will offer a high-performing exterior envelope to make solar heat gain minimal while increasing access to natural light. The curtainwall design will be built with triple-glazed insulated glass windows with glass spandrel panels for an average of R-30. Good water use strategies, recycling, sustainable materials usage and sourcing and energy-efficient building operations will be incorporated. The office and public spaces will aim for LEED Platinum certifications, while the structure’s residential component will be cultivated to conform to LEED Gold standards.

The office places also will access WELL Gold certification and supply residents with a healthful interior environment through features like enhanced air and water quality, healthier food options, encouragement of physical activity and enhanced natural lighting throughout. Office spaces are designed for flexibility to promote collaboration and connections.