Winthrop Center

Client MP Boston
Location Boston, MA
Status Completed in 2023

Winthrop Center has established a new benchmark for large-scale sustainable design.

Located in Boston's Financial District, Winthrop Center gives new definition and vitality to this part of the city. The project includes over 1.8M sq. ft. of residential, office, and retail space. The office component is Passive House certified, making Winthrop Center the largest Passive House commercial building in the world. In addition, this portion of the tower is targeting LEED Platinum and WELL Gold, while the residential portion above is targeting LEED Gold.

Winthrop Center seeks to enhance and revamp the existing Winthrop Square, creating new open space to serve Boston, and linking together several other adjacent outdoor spaces. A grand new public space called The Connector anchors the building and traverses the site between Federal and Devonshire streets. This space is a year-round gathering place that includes activities such as art shows, as well as more permanent retail establishments and restaurants.

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At 691 feet tall, Winthrop Center is now the tallest building in Boston's downtown core.

The building's fluted top is a beacon on the Boston skyline, while showing deference for the adjacent One Winthrop Square and other neighboring Art Deco-era buildings built in the 1920’s and 1940’s. Above The Connector, the office portion of the building gently curves around Winthrop Square to the west, creating an inflection in the massing. The undulating nature of the curtainwall creates strong vertical impressions, and is intended to catch and reflect the light in a dynamic fashion. At the tower top, the undulation becomes more pronounced, creating a skyline presence.

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The site’s through-block nature creates a T-shaped plan and allows the tower to relate to two different sets of context.

To the west, from Winthrop Square, a much more formal, enclosed portal threshold is utilized, creating a dramatic emergence into The Connector space. The entry scales down the overall tower so as to complement and show deference to One Winthrop Square.

On the busier Federal Street side, a large glass entry façade in an oversized stone frame blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space.

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Connecting the through-block site is The Connector, a distinctive gathering place active through all seasons and a focal point for activity.

This new “urban room” is intended to be inherently civic in scale and function. It is a public connector, a celebratory arcade conceived as a signature space. A mezzanine wraps the interior to provide overlooks across the space.

A dramatic folding ceiling extends through the space and visually connects the entries.

Its design evokes the neighborhood's surrounding Art Deco architecture with an angular repeating form, reinforcing The Connector as an addition to the streetscape. Elemental materials of stone, metal, terrazzo further lend the space a sense of robust permanence.

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Handel Architects designed the interiors at Winthrop Center as well.

Designing Winthrop Center, the World's Largest Passive House Commercial Building

An in-depth look at the design of the world's largest Passive House project.

View Case Study


2024 Green GOOD DESIGN Award - The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design Mark H. Hasso Project Achievement Award - CMAA New England Finalist, Best Mixed-Use Project - MIPIM Awards


Apr 27,2023 - Surfaces Reporter World's Largest Passive House Building Soon To Open In Boston Read Apr 14,2023 - The New York Times Climate Forward: Building Better Buildings Read Feb 01,2023 - Corporate Knights How today’s green building heroes are scaling up to save our planet Read Aug 15,2022 - BD+C Boston high-rise will be largest Passive House office building in the world Read Nov 24,2021 - Boston Business Journal Here’s the view from Winthrop Center, which will be one of Boston's tallest towers Read Oct 19,2021 - ENR Boston Area Pushes Passive House Envelope Read Jun 11,2021 - Fast Company A new Boston high-rise will be the largest office building to meet this exacting sustainability standard Read Jun 09,2021 - Archinect Winthrop Center is making progress in its quest to become the world's largest Passive House office building Read May 13,2021 - The Architect's Newspaper In Boston, the world’s largest Passive House office tower is on the rise Read Mar 25,2021 - Redshift Boston’s New Winthrop Center Takes Passive House Design to New Heights Read Oct 14,2020 - Boston Business Journal Millennium lands $775M loan for Winthrop Center Read Feb 06,2020 - Building Design + Construction Passive House picks up steam Read May 26,2019 - propmodo Millennium Partners and MIT Team up to Reimagine What It Means to Design With a Purpose Read Apr 26,2019 - Boston Magazine An Early Look into Winthrop Center’s Eco-Friendly and Tech-Savvy Interior Read Mar 26,2019 - The Boston Globe In Boston’s financial district, a skyscraper is being born Read Oct 24,2018 - Boston Business Journal Winthrop Square ground-breaking brings decade-plus long saga to a close Read Mar 01,2017 - Curbed Winthrop Square Tower Named as one of the 13 Most Important Projects in the Country Read


Design Architect Architect of Record Interior Designer (public spaces, residential units & amenities, commercial amenity spaces)

Project Team

Blake Middleton, Gary Handel, Stephen Matkovits, Kevin Samuels, Scott Chisolm, Seth Riseman, Thomas Florkewicz, Katie Donahue, Matthew Breau, Hannah Bruns, Blaine Campbell, Ku Hun Chung, Carolina Clemente, Boden Davies, Patrick Dawson, Stefan Di Leo, Jacqueline Diaz, Nathan Ellenberger, Libby Farley, Hector Garcia, Paula Hernandez Mateo, Stephanie Hur, Ignacio Iratchet, Mazdak Jafarian, Dawoon Jung, Wook Kang, Alex Kim, Jin Soo Kim, Youngah Ko, Dahmahlee Lawrence, Tzu-Yi Lei, Paul Lenke, Madison Maurer, Nieves Monasterio, Sunghyun Park, Carlos Planchart, Moshe Porter, Amaory Portorreal, Joseph Shand, Shaun Shih, Sarah Soltes, Maria Stanciu, Eric Tan, Bethlehem Tesfaye, Alfred To, Chenxue Wang, Bless Yee, Hyuntek Yoon

Photography & Visualizatons

Bruce Martin Steelblue

Design Partner(s)

Passive House and LEED Consulting - Steven Winter Associates


Passive House