Gateway Boston

Brookline, MA

The use of precast concrete hollowcore plank in a girder-slab structural system, mixed with composite-slab deck construction, meets major building-height concerns and strong demand for high ceilings in this boutique apartment building in Boston’s rapidly-developing city core.

Gateway Boston is located at 900 Beacon Street, and sits on a 11,952-square-foot site in the Audubon Circle neighborhood on the MBTA’s Green line near Boston University and the famous Fenway baseball park. The five-story, mixed-use project contains 32 rental apartments, ground floor retail and restaurant space, plus 30 underground and 6 above-ground parking spaces. A major challenge for designers was to create an infill building that would knit together the existing urban fabric of this historic area site.

Precast Concrete Aids Numerous Design Challenges
The new building faced numerous design challenges, according to Laura Homich, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate at architects PCA and project architect/project manager. “It was a tight urban site requiring zero lot line insertion. There would be residential units over retail and restaurants and an underground parking garage surrounded by water. The responsibility of creating a beautiful compliment to the historic Audubon Circle context, and one challenge in particular, brought the design team to the decision to use precast planks for the majority of the building’s floor structural system” she recalls.

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Projects details

  • PrecasterJ.P. Carrara & Sons, Inc., MIddlebury, VT

  • Owner900 Beacon Street Realty Trust, Chestnut Hill, MA (a family company operated by the Daniel Yu family)

  • ArchitectPCA (Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc.), Cambridge, MA

  • EngineerODEH Engineers North Providence, RI

  • ContractorCranshaw Construction Newton Lower Falls, MA


  • Sq. Footage: 38,950 (residential), 4,470 (retail)

  • Levels/Floors: 5-story

  • 108 pieces of precast concrete hollowcore plank

  • (8-in thick, 8-ft wide, and 30-ft long)

  • 20,000ft2 of precast concrete hollowcore plank

  • 120,000 square feet