I recently came across two sectional moments in the city worthy of promotion. The first – located on the anomalous block of Boylston on the far side of Mass Ave – is an ingenious solution for separating the café zone from pedestrian traffic. Given the extra-wide sidewalk dimension, the plan is split in section with a continuous, block-long, raised plinth for al fresco seating (the ends are sloped to meet the sidewalk at grade). Even better, there are T-shaped ramps at staggered moments along the plinth, allowing for accessibility at intermediate points. It also struck me that this continuous platform might double as an impromptu stage for the Berklee students that populate the block!
In the shadow of City Hall is another super-sectional moment designed to negotiate the steep slope along State Street between Washington Street and Congress Street. Carved out of the extra-wide urban staircase are nicely-scaled seating niches with benches that face each other. If the thoughtful plantings and conversation nooks weren’t enough for you, there’s also a water feature fully integrated into the staircase to help set the mood. I’d like to believe this an effort to fully expose strategies for stormwater management, but its unlikely.