Watertown, MA – Cambridge-based architecture and interior design firm, PCA, announced the completion of its placemaking and design work at Arsenal Yards, the emerging new neighborhood in the heart of Watertown’s East End at the site of the former Arsenal Mall.
Working with the project’s development partners, Boylston Properties and The Wilder Companies, PCA master planned the seven-building, one million sq. ft. mixed-use destination, and designed its urban village, residences, and open spaces.
The new neighborhood brings together a mix of live, work, and play environments including more than 50 retailers and restaurants, 108,000sf of lab and office space, 300 apartment residences, and a 146-room hotel. Anchoring the neighborhood are two original Arsenal brick buildings, authentically restored to their original character and size. It includes outdoor areas and green spaces, and walkways that connect residents and visitors to the River Green, Watertown’s Arsenal Park, and the bike and pedestrian path along the Charles River.
“From the earliest stages of our planning and community conversations, we realized the opportunity was to not only reimagine the Arsenal property, but to also make a great public space, a destination where people want to return to,” said Eric Brown, AIA, principal at PCA. “Fulfilling that goal led to a focus on designing an active pedestrian experience with walkways and sightlines that create the feel of a comfortable village center.”
In addition to master planning for the hotel and the 10-story lab building, PCA provided full design services, including the interiors and tenant amenity spaces, for Arsenal Yards’ residential buildings and the planning and design of structured parking for 1200 cars. The PCA-designed Arsenal Yards residences, Blvd & Bond Apartments, is comprised of a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Additional amenity spaces include a fitness center, a work from home area, game room and adjoining lounge spaces, and a communal kitchen.
The Arsenal property, built as a complex of munition manufacturing buildings supplying the U.S. Army, is a prominent historic landmark along the Charles River in Watertown.
“Our partnership with the PCA team is a fruitful one that has evolved over the many years it took to plan and design Arsenal Yards,” said Bill McQuillan, founding principal of Boylston Properties. “We are excited about the economic impact and opportunities this project will have for the city of Watertown and the surrounding businesses and industries in the Greater Boston area.”
In creating this new urban village, PCA drew upon its decades of placemaking experience, planning, and designing destination retail-centered mixed-use developments, including Legacy Place in Dedham, MarketStreet Lynnfield, and The Street in Chestnut Hill. Tom Wilder, president of the Wilder Companies noted, “We knew that curating and positioning the right tenants would make for a great retail shopping experience. To accomplish this, we brought in PCA right from the start due to their significant experience with retail placemaking.”