Paving the Way to an Urban Revival

100 Hood Park Drive at Hood Park
Charlestown, MA

Today’s Hood Park, located just off I-93 on Rutherford Avenue, has deep and historic roots reaching as early as the 17th century. Once a mill-pond-turned-industrial-site for railroad tracks, a freight depot, and warehousing, the business park is currently focused on 9-to-5 office use and serves the nearby Sullivan Square area and train station.

SMMA was commissioned to do a revised master plan for Hood Park, which would transform it yet again – this time to an urban destination for the entire neighborhood of Charlestown, metamorphizing into an attractive multi-use avenue enriched with bike paths and landscaped sidewalks.

As the first phase of the master plan, the garage structure at 100 Hood Park Drive activates the rest of the Hood Park development by freeing up existing surface parking lots and enabling room for future growth. The strategy ultimately introduces new markets to the surrounding community through its inclusion of parking, retail, office space, and lab space.

Creating a Focal Point

100 Hood Park Drive features a large aperture element as the focal point to a new street named Hood Park Drive, proposed to be located at the end of Stack Street. This layout fosters a relationship between the garage, the adjacent powerhouse, and expanded open public space.

The garage will boast of a diverse program and significant technical flexibility; by utilizing flat plates, the garage itself — which places the parking on the top five levels of the building, as opposed to the more typical lower levels — can accommodate a four-story expansion for additional lab and office space depending on developing tenancy needs. To help achieve this full high-rise, the garage floors can be infilled or additional levels can be added above.

Sustainable and Resilient

Catamount Management, the owner of Hood Park, has a strong commitment to sustainability and each aspect of the new garage design ensures an environmentally sustainable and operationally efficient outcome. 100 Hood Park Drive is designed to meet the Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code, which "emphasizes energy performance, as opposed to prescriptive requirements, [and] is designed to result in cost-effective construction that is more energy efficient than that built to the 'base' energy code." It features high efficiency HVAC systems, LED site lighting, Energy Star equipment where applicable, sub-metering of tenant space, and rooftop photovoltaic systems for on-site renewable energy generation. The building shell and core will be LEED Certified, and the garage portions of the project will be ParkSmart certified. To improve resiliency due to its proximity to the Mystic River (which is a flood zone), SMMA will raise the entire site three feet in anticipation of rising storm water levels and future potential flooding.

We are setting up Hood Park to become a community of its own as well as extension of the Charlestown neighborhood. 100 Hood Park Drive will enable the vision for the future of Hood Park and establish an active retail edge for the new street.

Mark Spaulding

Director of Design at SMMA