A Modern Icon, Refreshed
177 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA, USA
Beacon Properties acquired 85 Broad Street after it was significantly damaged by Hurricane Sandy and subsequently vacated by many of its tenants. Beacon called upon NBBJ to lead the repositioning of the buttoned-down 1980’s building to appeal to younger, more entrepreneurial firms, while also completing repairs due to storm damage.
Working with experience designer ESI, NBBJ enlivened the outdoor arcade and interior lobby with bright new lighting and graphics. An array of light bars plays off the building’s unique geometry and leads pedestrians through a public passageway. Laser-cut, pure white relief maps nod to the neighborhood’s rich history, while video monitors add lively, constantly changing imagery.
Significant tenant amenities were added as well, including a lobby store/newsstand and a bike shop with essential supplies, a repair stand and rack parking for almost 100 bikes — all visible through the storefront, conveying that the building has evolved beyond its stodgy past. NBBJ also advised on design strategies to attract a major restaurant tenant, which has now moved in.
With NBBJ’s visual strategies supporting Beacon’s marketing efforts, the owner was able to achieve over 90% occupancy within nine months.
Located in a low-lying area in Lower Manhattan, 85 Broad Street experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As part of the repositioning, NBBJ helped design unobtrusive, removable flood barriers to keep out the next storm. When needed, temporary flood walls can be taken out of storage and affixed to brackets (pictured above) permanently installed in the sheltered arcade that rings the entire perimeter of the building.