160,000 SF | 99 Units
Laconia Lofts is the first new “ground-up” construction of affordable live/work artist space built in the eastern United States since the early 20th century. It is also the first significant new construction project completed in the burgeoning “industrial” area of Boston’s South End. Laconia Lofts provides an important physical anchor at each of its major entry points—from the Washington Street commercial district to the west and the Harrison Avenue arts district to the east. It is also located at a key point of transition between the South End Landmark District of Brick Victorian townhouses and the SOWA arts district of warehouse lofts; Laconia is a bridge between these distinct areas, both architecturally and programmatically. Since construction, the empty lots surrounding Laconia have been extensively rebuilt and Washington Street has undergone a nationally recognized revitalization.
The building incorporates the 99 affordable artists live/work units through the elongated forms of its warehouse neighbors as well as the materials and rhythm of the townhouse district facing the Washington Street facade. A modern interpretation of Victorian-era warehouses is achieved through massing, the use of two tones of brick, as well as by the introduction of metal elements that have an industrial expression, including balconies and canopies that recall the district’s heritage of decorative ironwork. In addition to the residences in the building, the inclusion of commercial spaces along the Washington Street contributes to the renewed urban life of the neighborhood. The building is activated be three different lovvies, including one leading directly from Harrison Avenue to a gallery owned and operated by the resident artists.
“With modern amenities and a city-skyline view, [Laconia Lofts] revitalizes the concept of loft living. A first in Boston loft space built precisely for the sake of loft living.”
— Boston Globe