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Curbed Awards 2016: Idea of the year

Building atop transit!

It’s that time of year: When we hand out the annual Curbed Awards for bold thinking, great design, and world-class snafus.

Building atop transportation hubs is not a new idea in Boston, but it took a big, stonking leap forward during 2016.

Major projects once thought terminally dormant (or close to it) sprang to life, including Columbus Center, where the South End meets Back Bay over the Turnpike, and Fenway Center, the five-building development that plans to manage the same engineering hat trick above where Brookline and Commonwealth avenues meet in Kenmore Square.

South Station tower, rendered.

These two join others over the Turnpike that moved forward in 2016. And all of them joined the plans for a 51-story tower over South Station, New England’s busiest train and bus terminal. That puppy could break ground in the next six months.

Meanwhile, the proposal for plunking 1,260,000 square feet of residences, offices, and retail on and around Back Bay Station received new attention in 2016.

Stay tuned. This Idea of the Year has legs, as they say.