Award honors outstanding achievements in architectural design converting the former 

Holy Trinity Church into iconic boutique luxury residences

Finegold Alexander Architects is proud to announce that The Lucas, (, a 33-unit luxury residence was recognized with an Honor Award at the 2018 AIA New England Design Awards. The Design Award Celebration was held on October 12, 2018.

The Lucas is the transformation of a shuttered 1874 German Trinity Catholic Church originally designed by Patrick Keely in Boston. The concept is a building within a building – a striking steel and glass design that rises out of the massive stone walls to create a 33-unit residential community. “We made bold design moves,” added Ellen Anselone, AIA, Principal, Finegold Alexander Architects.  “After exploring a number options to makKitchen.Lucas.LR.jpge the renovation come to life, we found the only viable option was to take the roof off and go up.”

“The project essentially inserted a new eight-story building within the existing Roxbury Puddingstone walls and 100’ tall tower,” said Tony Hsiao, AIA, Director of Design at Finegold Alexander.  The eight-story glass and steel building bursts through the former church’s roof with steel columns continuing the lines of the stone buttresses skyward in an eye-popping celebration of classic and contemporary architecture.

The AIA jury noted: “The jury was intrigued by this adaptive reuse project, excited by the move of hollowing out a church and inserting an entirely new building. Reimagining the flying buttress for the twenty-first century could have been corny or clunky; however, these interpretations in steel subtly work. The addition is clearly contemporary, but in deference to the existing structure, a success in preservation.”

Careful renovation preserves the historic exterior and the contemporary insertion reinterprets the architectural and tectonic qualities of the existing building to create an ensemble that bLucas.Walkway.LR.jpgeautifully marries past and present.  New steel columns were carefully placed to visually extend the structural piers of the church in a modern interpretation of the historic stone buttresses.  Local Roxbury Puddingstone walls and Maine granite window openings were meticulously restored, while carefully enlarged new openings seamlessly transform the walls for the new residences within.

“The Lucas design represents the careful balancing of historic-preservation with contemporary needs,” stated Anselone.  Retaining the stone and granite exterior of the building was critical, as many of the historic details and materials could never be duplicated today. “This development is a major step in the evolutionary reimagining of Boston’s historic buildings for contemporary use.”

“Finegold Alexander is honored to have been able to design this project, in collaboration with the development team New Boston Ventures and Metric Construction; we are thrilled to have been recognized by the AIA with this award,” added Anselone.

The Lucas is a half mile from two T stops, local retail, restaurants, and parks; within 1 mile of Boston Common, Boston Public Library, theater district. Each of the 1 to 3-bedroom units are completely individualized, based on unique architectural details.  The existing Victorian Gothic features of the stone walls, tower, and arched windows are seamlessly blended with contemporary glass and steel.  The design team sought to marry the old and new by retaining the architecturally significant landmark’s tracery windows, front doors, and other artifacts.

The 1,000-3,000-square foot units have high ceilings, terraces, and luxury amenities including a concierge, a gym, a library/lounge, garage parking and direct elevator access to most units.  The preservation of the original façade allowed for the main entry and two of the units to have private street entrances framed by Gothic arches and rose windows.  The former bell tower is also incorporated into some of the condominiums.

Project Team

New Boston Ventures & Metric Construction (Developer); Development Consultant (Harry Collings); Structural Engineer (McNamara Salvia); M/E/P Engineer (WSP); Civil Engineer (H. W. Moore); Specifications Writer (Mark Wilhelm); Geotechnical + Hazardous Materials Engineer (McPhail Associates, Inc.); Code Consultant (C3 Commercial Construction Consulting, Inc.); Landscape Architect (Michael D’Angelo Landscape Architecture); Exterior Envelope (SGH); Acoustics (Acentech); Interior Design (Wolf in Sheep Design)


About Finegold Alexander Architects

We create imaginative, inspired and transformative architecture. Architecture established by a collective sense of what is possible. Architecture built on client and community needs and values. Architecture derived from a comprehensive knowledge founded on 50 years of experience. We thrive on the complex. We seek exciting and innovative solutions. We delight in the recognition that something worthwhile has been created. We listen. Our buildings speak.


About the AIA New England Design Awards

That AIA New England Regional Council represents over 6,000 AIA Members and Associate Members in the eight New England chapters. The AIA New England Awards program recognizes excellence in design.  Any New England architect can submit a project from anywhere in the world and any architect outside of New England can submit a project completed in New England.  There were 294 submissions and just 18 projects were selected by the jury.

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