Millennium Tower Project, Boston

by Sophie Cullen on Oct 15, 2015 in Architecture
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The city’s skyline has recently been transformed through the Millennium Tower Project which includes a restored heritage building and a striking tower

Located at the historic site of the former Filene's Department Store, the $630 million Millennium Tower project consists of the landmark 1912 Burnham Building and the dramatic mixed-use tower. Standing 685 feet above the ground, the mixed-use tower is now the third highest building in the city. Designed by Blake Middleton of Handel Architects, the structure includes residential, office space and street level retail areas.


"In designing this project, we created a dynamic interplay between the historic Burnham Building and the new tower," said architect Blake Middleton. "We wanted to push the evolution of Boston's skyline with a modern, expressive form. Angular glass facets that maximize the stunning views run vertically up the building like a Waterford Champagne flute. The resulting structure is modern, graceful and reflective."

The tower has a distinct geometric form and articulated profile that stretches toward the sky. The crystalline character of the tower is emphasised by faceting the broad faces of the tower, and subtly shifting the geometry of the vertical planes. This shaping, combined with a dramatic shear at the penthouse terrace and the chamfered peak, accentuates the tower's verticality while refracting the ever-changing colors of the sky. The resulting structure is a graceful and softer counterpoint to the stolid masonry of the downtown skyline.


Created by famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham while he was the most prominent retail merchandising architect in the nation, the Filene's building was Burnham's only Boston structure. The beloved building is being reawakened and restored to its original grandeur becoming, once again, the retail and commerce anchor for the neighborhood.

The restoration includes the recreation of Burnham's original window façade, an incredible stretch of uninterrupted glass with cast-iron canopies that open onto the vast, European-style plaza. The original Beaux Arts architecture will be meticulously cleaned and restored in a manner that meets the exacting standards for a structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

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