Hydroelectric Canal Proposal, Massachusetts Building Project

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal

New Massachusetts Architecture, USA – design by Paul Lukez Architecture

Jul, 2018

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal, Massachusetts Design

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Design: Paul Lukez Architecture

Hydroelectric Canal Proposal

Paul Lukez Architecture propose to harness clean energy through hydropower generation from tidal changes and storm surges in low-lying urban areas, as a means of shaping economically and environmentally resilient, self-sustaining communities.

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal

The proposal by Paul Lukez Architecture offers an array of integrated landscaping, ecological restoration, urban development and financing strategies for achieving this goal. The latter include public-private partnerships for creating a new energy-producing, amenity-laden infrastructure that reduces risk to communities and investors.

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal


The design proposal draws from a hydropower generation method from the 1640s: Boston’s Mill Creek connected a northern tidal basin (Mill Pond) with the southern harbor (Town Cove), harnessing tidal changes to power strategically located gristmills at the creek’s ends. This historic fusion of landscape and infrastructure energized Boston’s new economy and community.

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal


Some 400 years later, we propose cutting a channel through Columbia Point to connect the northern Old Harbor with the southern Savin Hill Cove.

The new Morrissey Channel would capture rising sea levels and tidal changes and embrace the ebb and flow of natural water currents to generate hydroelectric energy through advanced turbine technologies, which would power communities and build lively public spaces. This ecologically sustainable urban model would assume a new form of resilient urbanism that generates an amenity-rich landscape, restored ecology, and an economically viable, self-sustaining community.

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal


This proposal would restore 232 hectares of intertidal salt marshes to store 4 million liters of water/acre, reduce the tidal wave height by 90% within 20 meters of the marsh edge, accrete sediment by 0.25 cm/m2/year, and absorb 481 tons of CO2/year to counter carbon sequestration. In addition, 63 acres of oyster/mussel/clam beds would be restored as a shoreline buffer filtering 30-50 gallons of water/day/oyster for water quality improvement and sediment reduction.

Other ecological benefits would include shoreline revegetation for coastal habitats, buffers, biodiversity and landscape quality; intertidal pool expansion for rocky habitats; and wetland remediation and courtyard water recycling for stormwater management. SUMMARY This proposal fulfills a new need for more resilient Boston neighborhoods by combining colonial-era urban design patterns and precedents with new hydrokinetic technologies.

This mix creates new forms of urban habitation, where water actively generates sustainable energy, urban life and urban form for generations to come.

Hydroelectric Canal Boston design proposal

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal – Building Information

Architects: Paul Lukez Architecture
Client: Boston Society of Architects

Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal images / information from The Chicago Athenaeum

Hydroelectric Canal Boston is one of over 100 shortlisted buildings to win at the prestigious 2018 American Architecture Awards:

American Architecture Awards 2018

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Contemporary Architecture in Northeast USA

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Hydroelectric Canal Boston Proposal, New Hampshire, USA – page

Website: Hydroelectric Canal Boston