New England Aquarium 

Master Plan, Marine Mammal Center + Harborwalk
Boston, Massachusetts

With its prominent urban waterfront setting, the New England Aquarium is a significant tourist destination and educational resource serving the Boston community and New England region. 

In partnership with Cambridge Seven Associates, the Aquarium’s original architects, Halvorson Design developed a master plan for comprehensive renovations to Central Wharf Pier.

Following the master plan, Halvorson Design worked with McManus Associates on the Phase One Improvements at the tip of Central Wharf in conjunction with the new Indoor Outdoor Marine Mammal Center and expanded plaza. These spaces present a significant revenue generating opportunity for the Aquarium, and the team designed spaces that maximized the potential of the site affording spectacular views of the Harbor Islands and Boston Skyline.

The lowest levels of the pier were raised by three feet and utilities were relocated to accommodate for sea level rise. The new, single-level pier allows for more flexible program opportunities, a larger event space, vehicular access and serves as an extension of the Boston Harborwalk. Halvorson Design also provided cost effective gestures with maritime-themed lighting, extended railings, movable planters and hardy, low maintenance plantings for the harsh waterfront location.


Cynthia Smith FASLA



New England Aquarium

Cambridge Seven Associates (Master Plan)

McManus Associates (Phase I)



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