Charles Square Mixed-Use

Master planning and architectural design for mixed-use development with hotel, residences, and offices

The dense mixed-use development on the Charles River was initially a controversial project in the preservationist-minded neighborhood of Harvard Square. After several years of public review, the project was constructed on a "fast track" schedule and opened in 1985 to acclaim from architectural critics and immediate commercial success. "A triumph of human scale and good design," said architecture critic Robert Campbell of the Boston Globe. Cambridge Seven Associates was responsible for planning and programming presentations to the community and architectural, interior, and graphic design for the complex. The Development combines 86 riverfront condos, 115,000 square feet of prime office space, 45,000 square feet of retail space, a 330-room luxury hotel, and 750 parking spaces. This varied and lively milieu has become a popular place and continues to be sought out by visitors and residents. C7A has maintained a successful working relationship with the development, returning regularly for renovations and upgrades to residences, offices and retail spaces.

CultureNOW Podcast: The Charles Hotel

C7A Principals Stefanie Greenfield and Steve Imrich talk about the design and renovations at The Charles Hotel in this CultureNOW podcast. In the 1980s, developer Carpenter & Company and architect Cambridge Seven Associates understood the challenge of introducing a mixed-use …