Located outside the traditional Chinatown Gate at Beach Street that marks the entrance to Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood, the 3/4-acre Chinatown Park is built over the site of an abandoned off-ramp from the Central Artery Dewey Square tunnel.
ClientMassachusetts Turnpike Authority
Reinterpreting traditional design
Chinatown Park was the first park to be completed along Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, marking the culmination of a rigorous multi-year planning, design, and construction effort. IBI Group designed the park under the direction of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and with the active involvement of several community advisory groups and task forces.
Expressing the park’s design theme of balancing memory and prophecy, our design interprets traditional Chinese elements of the village festival space, including contemplative gardens, gateways, walls, stone, and flowing water, to create a space that is uniquely modern with strong references to the past. Additional design features of the park include:
- a contemporary red steel gateway that serves as a counterpoint to the traditional gate at Beach Street;
- a stylized sampan sail sculpture rendered in stainless steel and metal fabric;
- a serpentine path through gardens with plants of Asian origin;
- uplit misted grasses reminiscent of traditional rice fields; and
- support frames for tall, hardy bamboo plants that are translated from traditional materials to sculptures of red steel.
Being the largest open space within Chinatown, the park’s design responds to the vigorous social life of the Asian community by providing an open plaza for the many festivals, celebrations, and daily activities.