Pier 4 Waterfront Park and Plaza

Courtesy of Hao Liang
Exit fullscreen
Exit map

The most prominent undeveloped site in Boston’s emerging Seaport District, Pier 4 deploys a variety of tectonic operation framed by plantings and a novel streetscape to invite civic life back to the water’s edge.

Pier 4 is a place unique within Boston’s waterfront. Simultaneously connected to and set apart from Boston’s emerging Innovation District, this pier park capitalizes on panoramic views, an intimacy with the elements, and incredible proximity to cultural and civic landmarks.

For two centuries Boston has built, repaired, rebuilt, and extended its waterfront—all of which is revealed in the Pier 4 landscape. In a city that prizes its industrial heritage, Pier 4’s landscape is respectful and contextually sensitive. In a neighborhood rapidly embracing the culture and commerce of the twenty-first century, Pier 4’s landscape presents and innovative tectonic vocabulary to strengthen Boston’s social and physical infrastructure.   Pier 4 offers unique experiences on the Boston waterfront. Visitors float out over the Harbor. They step down to the water’s edge. They climb up to a panoramic promontory. Pier 4 invites visitors and residents to experience the dynamic waterfront in ways found nowhere else along the harbor edge—to be suspended over water on two sides, to step down to the water, to ascend to a panoramic overlook. Materials, site furniture, trees, planting palette—coordinated with and integrated into the residential building—all signal an world-class contemporary environment. 

A compelling streetscape subtly distinguishes Pier 4’s Phase 2 building from adjacent properties. Lined with trees and accommodating a spacious pedestrian zone, the landscape is also characterized by flush curbs, unit paving throughout, excellent lighting, and distinctive furnishings.

Arrival at the Phase 3 building is exceptional. Vehicular traffic is limited to the drop-off and loading zone. The lobby itself faces onto a vibrant public plaza limited to pedestrians.  Each room has a birds-eye view of the site. A continuous planted ribbon will surround the ha-ha level terraces, referencing the planted seawall edge below and effectively separating the residents from ground level activity.  


Boston, MA




4 acres




  • “Living on the Edge,” by Marni Elyse Katz, Boston Common , Winter 2017