• 601_2Architect: SOM         Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_3Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_4Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_5Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_6Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_7Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_8Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs
  • 601_9Architect: SOM          Images: © Peter Vanderwarker Photographs


601 Congress Street

601 Congress Street

This innovative project incorporates a clear glass double wall with sun control devices and a ventilated interstitial cavity, making it highly energy-efficient. It is the first all double-wall building in North America and has established a new paradigm for the development of sustainable buildings in the United States.

601 Congress Street is an office building of 480,000 square feet located in South Boston near the Customs House District. The entrance to the building faces a newly established triangular park, identified by a prow-like radiused tower piece that raises 15 floors. The curved geometry opens the site and views from neighboring buildings and increases the value of the surrounding context.

The building includes a six-story skylight atrium, which serve as a large meeting breakout space as well as a place to host events and public functions. Landscaping within the atrium creates a green winter garden with pleasant views for occupants. The skylight roof of the atrium is supported by four super columns assembled from steel tubing that are up-lit in the evening to provide a sculptural feature, seen from inside the atrium and south side of the building.

The double wall allows the exterior to be all glass, light and transparent as well as highly energy efficient. The project also incorporates a green roof, planted with tall prairie grasses sympathetic to the Boston climate. The roof provides a habitat for birds and offers an exhilarating view of the Boston harbor.


Adrian Smith, Design Partner
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP


Manulife Financial


Building Owners and Managers Association Boston, Office Building of the Year


AIA Chicago Chapter, Sustainable Design Award, Special Recognition


AIA, Chicago Chapter, Distinguished Building Award, Special Recognition


ASHRAE, Illinois Chapter, Excellence in Engineering