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John Hancock's Proposed Back Bay Tower Is Not Boring

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No sooner had its old landlord scrubbed its name from New England's tallest tower than did financial services giant John Hancock announce plans for a new Back Bay office building at 380 Stuart Street.

The 625,000-square-foot, 26-story tower would supplant a nine-story building that John Hancock owns (and that would be demolished to make way). Given its proposed side, the new project isn't all that formidable. Except! The design by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and CBT Architects would stand out amid the drab, squarish, Lego-like, gray slabs that dominate the city's commercial skyline. How? With a curving facade. Bravo! Seriously, it's one of two proposed high-rises that spring to mind that are bucking the norm.

It's not all about standing out, though, for 380 Stuart. As a top John Hancock executive tells the Globe's Jon Chesto, "the glass tower's curved sides give it a distinctive look, aimed at minimizing the wind impacts along Stuart Street. He said he doesn't expect the new tower to cast a shadow over Boston Common or the nearby Commonwealth Avenue Mall, avoiding a potential cause for criticism." Boston, always with the shadows.
· John Hancock Wants to Build Another Iconic Back Bay Tower [Globe]
· Erasing Hancock: New England's Tallest Tower Renamed [Curbed Boston]
· The Five Worst Trends in Greater Boston Real Estate, Ranked [Curbed Boston]
· Let's All Cheer the Seaport's Super-Elliptical Office Tower [Curbed Boston]
· Shadow Concerns Continue to Shadow Height-Cut 171 Tremont [Curbed Boston]
[Renderings via Skidmore Owings Merril and the Globe]