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Ink Block by Elkus Manfredi Architects

by Suzanne Miao on May 12, 2016 in Interiors
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Photography: © Andrew Bordwin, courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

Photography: © Andrew Bordwin, courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

On a six-acre site which was the former home of the Boston Herald newspaper, Elkus Manfredi Architects has unveiled the Ink Block buildings

A vibrant residential/retail hub in Boston's South End neighbourhood, Ink Block includes 315 apartments in three distinct buildings (1 Ink, 2 Ink, 3 Ink), an 83-unit luxury condominium building (Sepia), and a second 79-unit condominium building (Siena), slated for completion in 2017. Siena's ground-floor condos are designed as maisonettes, each with its own street-level entrance, while a future phase of Ink Block will include an approximately 200-room hotel.

The six-acre site is the former home of the Boston Herald newspaper from 1958 until 2012. Prior to that, it was known locally as 'the New York Streets,' a six-block area bordered by Washington, Albany, Herald and Dover (now East Berkeley) Streets.

Shipping containers were repurposed as mailrooms at One and Two Ink, where large, digitally-connected common tables encourage use of laptops, phone recharging, etcetera in an 'alone-together' social space

Shipping containers were repurposed as mailrooms at One and Two Ink, where large,
digitally-connected common tables encourage use of laptops, phone recharging, etcetera in an
'alone-together' social space

The New York Streets housed a multi-ethnic working-class population from the mid-1800s until the mid-1950s, when light industrial and commercial uses replaced the diverse residential neighbourhood in Boston's first urban renewal project. National Development purchased the Boston Herald property in 2006 and the newspaper continued to operate in the building while the project was planned and permitted. The intention of Ink Block is to return the area to the lively, dynamic mixed-use community it was over a century ago.

"The original foundations, basement, and a section of the original first floor of the Boston Herald building were used in the creation of 2 Ink. Beyond the physical Boston Herald building, the new structures on the Ink Block site have retained several design elements that refer to its newspaper roots," says Elizabeth Lowrey, principal and director of interior architecture, Elkus Manfredi Architects.

The 3 Ink environment is refined, achieving an 'urban chic meets quiet retreat' vibe

The 3 Ink environment is refined, achieving an 'urban chic meets quiet retreat' vibe

Ink Block's retail anchor is a flagship 50,000 sq-ft Whole Foods store, which features outdoor sidewalk café seating on Harrison Avenue, a wine shop, gelato bar, and many prepared food options in addition to a complete selection of natural and organic foods. Additional retail amenities will include several restaurants, services, and shopping destinations.

"The original Boston Herald signage was repurposed in the Whole Foods Market portion of the building to celebrate the new building's connection to the newspaper's past. In addition, actual Boston Herald graphics, ads, comics, and page layouts are used as murals and branding identifiers throughout the space, reinforcing this connection," Lowrey adds.

"To reflect the building's former use as a print facility, the colour palette used throughout all of the spaces references the CMYK colour model, referring to the four inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black that are typically used in colour printing, as well as to describe the printing process itself."

This is an excerpt from the "Tripping Down Memory Lane” article from the May 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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