The design for the MBTA’s Operations Control Center creates a gateway structure at Dewey Square in downtown Boston. A new ten-story building is the result of the addition of five new office stories, and a complete new exterior enclosure. At its heart is the Operations Control Room, which dispatches all of the city’s rapid transit and light rail vehicles.
The building is prominently located at the edge of Boston’s dense financial district. The mid-block site faces canyon-like High Street on the city side; on the Purchase Street side the building opens to expansive views of the Expressway, South Station, and the Boston Harbor.
Lower floors contain transformer and electrical equipment; a middle zone at the level of adjacent buildings provides employee lunchroom, lockers, and break space; the control room occupies the first two levels of new space; and two floors of executive offices cap the building.
The new facade helps to re-establish the pedestrian scale of the street edge and affirm a dignified public presence in the downtown district. An open balcony outside the employee cafeteria brings daylight and views into the space. The new building is both vigorously modernist in its detailing of stone skin and metal parapet and contextual in its massing response.