Boston is growing—at a breakneck speed. Reports estimate that the city needs to add 69,000 residential units by 2030 to adequately support its swelling population. One way to solve this shock to the system is to repurpose unused spaces like mills and historic church buildings into mixed-use developments.

The Lucas, an 8-story, 80,000 SF structure forged from the remains of a 19th-century church, is a perfect example of how developers have found novel ways of fitting luxury residences into the existing architectural landscape of Boston. Acentech’s acoustics consultants assisted Finegold Alexander Architects with the task of breathing new life—and light—into this gorgeous blend of local history and modern living.

Converting a former sanctuary into a luxury residential experience has its fair share of challenges. Acoustically speaking, the purposes and needs of these buildings are on virtually opposite ends of the spectrum. Within a church, one’s voice needs to carry, to radiate from the pulpit to the pews. Condominium complexes, on the other hand, need an emphasis placed on sound isolation and reverberation control. Acentech’s team worked in a gut-renovation of the building to completely redo the mechanical systems and make the structure as resident-friendly as possible. Floor-to-ceiling windows gracing the sides of the building give these living spaces stellar views of the city and plenty of natural light. Proper sound isolation techniques were vital to ensuring the effectiveness of these glass walls against noise from a nearby highway. Acentech assisted designers in the selection of materials and installation methods for this critical, distinctive feature of these residences. The Lucas’s state-of-the-art gym and lifestyle amenities on the ground floor were also strategically placed according to their potential for disruption to any upstairs neighbors.

With a thoughtful attention to detail, residences at The Lucas strike the perfect balance between cherishing the history of Boston and paying tribute to its bright future.

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