Tower vs Tower - 1 Dalton vs Millennium Tower

Which tower do you prefer?

  • 1 Dalton

    Votes: 13 61.9%
  • Millennium Tower

    Votes: 8 38.1%

  • Total voters
    21

DZH22

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Seeing as these are the 2 most visually significant towers of our boom to date, and the first towers in 40 years to surpass 200 meters, I think it's time for us to put them up against each other.

Please note this is for TOWER vs TOWER, so we are leaving off the ground floor activation. The site locations are extreme apples to oranges so lets concentrate instead on the architecture and the significance to the Boston skyline. Pictures are welcome!

IMG_9743 by David Z, on Flickr


Millennium Tower - 2016, first tower in over 40 years to surpass 200 meters, still the tallest downtown, right in the heart of downtown crossing. I love everything about the tower itself except for the open roof. The reflective glass and black lines on top strongly evoke the Hancock. Location was originally supposed to go only 495' (albeit rescue a historic outside wall), then lowered to 420', raised to 600', 606, 625', and finally ended up being 685' in a very welcome surprise!!! Due to its design, this building has "best" and "worst" sides to it. I would say it looks the best from the North/West, as long as the open roof isn't really noticeable. It has some more awkward angles from the south and east.

IMG_9776 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_2585 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_1286 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_7389 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_4963 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_4976 by David Z, on Flickr

A bit more awkward angle from the East.

IMG_9936 by David Z, on Flickr

Oh, that open roof! :rolleyes:

IMG_9215 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_5792 by David Z, on Flickr


1 Dalton - Technically still completing, although maybe opened in 2019. Rivals the Pru and Hancock and has created a "Big 3" scenario in the Back Bay. The triangular shape and rounded glass are top notch, and the cladding is very likely the highest quality on any tower in the entire city. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the dark, brooding look to it. The aspect ratio for a Boston tower is flat out amazing, and it looks fairly consistent from most angles. I'd say it looks the best from the west, especially the Fenway area and driving in on the Pike, as it is the nearest and most dominant of the Big 3 from there. It does ruin some postcard views, such as the way it crowds up behind the Pru from the Longfellow Bridge, and disappears completely behind the Pru in other views, such as from Chelsea. It has created an awkward dynamic from more angles than MT has downtown, but the tower itself always looks good. The lack of lighting at the top is a disappointment, same as MT.

IMG_2181 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_2175 by David Z, on Flickr

Next 2 show the stunning way these 3 now line up from the West. This is by far my favorite aspect of the skyline addition.

IMG_9952 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_2140 by David Z, on Flickr

So thin, tall, and vertical.

IMG_2151 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_1966 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_1555 by David Z, on Flickr

Kind of creating a new Back Bay plateau. Just wait until they announce a flat roof 780' or something. It would be nice to see 1 tower break this plateau, but it's so typically Boston.

IMG_1554 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_0531 by David Z, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

Bananarama

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Millennium is nice for the way it reflects evening light along the thin face of the window facets. It'll often catch bright sun the same way the crotch does on Hancock. It's a neat material effect.
But the massing looks like it went through multiple rounds of VE. The clump that just sort of hugs the east/north side bothers me. Those balconies look like late additions and disrupt the strong vertical proportions of the tower otherwise. I don't mind the open roof, if anything it makes is better.

Dalton is a more beautiful form and better executed overall imo. The extruded filleted-triangular plan is interesting and produces some similarly neat light effects during the morning/evening as the sun fades around the curved glass corners. I like the way the balconies are stacked on the facade, and where they occur (upper right of each face consistently, instead of kerchunked in the top middle). The vertical reveals starting from the mechanical floor at the bottom third are clean.

In all honesty, I had no idea where the base of Millennium was until looking on maps at DTX. It's shorter and among a crowd of others so the visual impact is more like the peak of a hill. Whereas Dalton is like Hancock or the Pru. Some spire among low-risers. You get clearer approach angles and it looks particularly sinister/eye-of-sauron-like along the little brownstone street next-door.
 

shmessy

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Great convo and pics, DZ. Both are nice tall buildings. But the most important part for urban vitality is not seen in any of those pictures ;)

Can we also compare the ground levels and how they activate their surroundings? More people prefer Paris to Houston.
 

DZH22

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Great convo and pics, DZ. Both are nice tall buildings. But the most important part for urban vitality is not seen in any of those pictures ;)

Can we also compare the ground levels and how they activate their surroundings? More people prefer Paris to Houston.
The reasons I want to leave out the ground level interaction are the following:
1. The locations are too different. If 1 Dalton was right on Boylston Street it might be a more relevant comparison. One of them filled a hole in the heart of the city's busiest retail area, while the other is somewhat tucked away in comparison. 1 Dalton's presence is enough to draw additional pedestrian traffic, but that area feels closer to a back-alley than a major thoroughfare.
2. The sites themselves are too different. Millennium Tower included the refurbishing of the Burnham Building, and is connected onto it. 1 Dalton replaced a barely used pocket park, so the expectations are not the same.
3. Retail can come and go. For instance, there's no guarantee that the Roche Brothers will last (although would probably remain a supermarket), but the towers themselves will not change. I'd rather concentrate on the architecture because it will be the same comparison 10, 20, even 50 years from now as it is today.
4. If we are adding in all the ground level stuff, we'd have to add in 30 Dalton as well. That was built first as part of a 2 building project, so the entire complex would go against the refurbishment of the Burnham and the MT itself. That seems like too many extraneous variables, and again, it's apples and oranges regarding ground level EXPECTATIONS let alone results.

Regarding Paris to Houston, would the same building have more architectural merit if built in one and not the other? Also, in this case, we are comparing Boston to Boston, period. It's just that it happens to be "major intersection on main street" Boston vs "tucked away location, with prior treatment as a back-door or cut-through" Boston.
 

HenryAlan

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I understand these arguments against considering street level, but I do have difficulty divorcing it from how I perceive the two buildings. I voted before reading the instructions, so I picked Millennium in large part due to the street level impact. That said, I'd probably pick it anyway for a couple of reasons.
  1. I like the multi-textured surfacing on the tower. Yes, both are all glass, but MT has varied patterns and geometry.
  2. In terms of overall impact, I think MT did a lot more for the city than the Four Seasons. It's a tower that serves us all, whereas the Four Seasons, both by location and by design is not something for us to experience except from a distance.
 

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