Units of Energy,

Units of Housing 

Repurposing Paul Rudolph's Government Service Center

Design Critic: Carol Burns,

Mark Pasnik

Studio: WIT/Fall 2014/

Site: Boston, MA

Project Team: Panharith Ean, Bhavik Mistri, Vien Nguyen,

John Teixeira

Role: concept & design development, research on energy & ecology, graphic visualization

The studio worked closely with Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to propose new

schemes and re-envision Paul Rudolph’s Government Service Center in Boston. Each team was asked to work from a specific framework, in this case, ecology is the frame work.


This proposal aims to bridge the social ecology of the neighborhood by introducing a residential program with an

infrastructure for energy self-efficiency, 

a solar harvesting net over the site. This infrastructure transforms the courtyard

into a performative public space, one where energy and ecology are monumentalized to attract visitors and movement through the site. A new commercial tower in the courtyard supports the energy net and intensifies use of the site. The structural

articulation of the infrastructure has its echo in the undulation of the landscape.

Conceptual Energy Grid:

Composed of 30’ x 30’ solar panel, each can supply energy of 13500 kwh/year.

Existing Building Energy Consumption:

Current building energy consumption is approximately 13,000,000 kwh/year, which would need 980 of the 30’ x 30’

solar panels. 

Reprogramming Building Energy Consumption:

Given the same square footage, by just reprogramming from an office building to

a residential building, the energy consumption drops almost half, consuming about 7,700,000 kwh/year. 



Proposed Energy Grid:

The infrastructure is design with solar panel embedded surfaces that would supply a hundred percent of its energy


Infrastructure Undulation and Topography
Rudolph's Vertical Elements: Existing + Addition
Ground Floor Plan
View toward the tower from adjacent addition
Rooftop view
Hallway view
Courtyard view
View from the street