Station 99 is an electrical substation located within Boston’s Raymond Flynn Marine Park in the city’s Seaport neighborhood, built to accommodate increased power demands in the rapidly expanding Seaport District. Utile was tasked with creating an enclosure design that responded both to the functional needs of the client and the aesthetic concerns of the Boston Planning and Development Agency. The main equipment platform is elevated to mitigate potential flooding from storm surge at the harbor-side location, and provide access for service vehicles on the lower level.
Architecturally finished precast. board-formed concrete panels spaced to allow flood waters to pass through the structure provide a visual screen at the base of the station, and protect the steel structure from heavy truck traffic on adjacent streets. The upper level of the platform is clad in a modular system of perforated, corrugated, stainless steel paneling allowing for needed ventilation of the electrical equipment. The de-mountable sections facilitate off-site prefabrication of cladding elements, as well as future removal as dictated by equipment maintenance and replacement needs. The material palette and detailing reflect the highly utilitarian character and industrial context of the construction, while providing a sleek and contemporary finish to a much needed piece of public infrastructure.
The perforated metal screen creates a dynamic and ephemeral experience in the otherwise starkly industrial visual landscape. Deceptively transparent when backlit, the stainless steel screen permits views of the sky and allows light through it while obscuring and securing the sensitive electrical power equipment beyond that provides power to the region. Folds in the screen create a surprising duality by mimicking the soft draping of a curtain while simultaneously adding structural rigidity.