401 Park Drive in the Fenway Park area of Boston, Massachusetts, was formerly known as the Landmark Center. Built in 1928 as the former distribution center for Sears, Roebuck and Company, this historic building has been reborn as a home for new retail, offices and recreation spaces. As part of a larger re-development by Samuels & Associates in 2019, the Landmark Center has been renamed to 401 Park Drive, and now includes a beautiful outdoor green space and park, abutting the new Time Out Market and Trillium Brewing Company. The new green and park create the perfect home for year-round outdoor activities, including community workouts, markets, concerts, movies and other events to the area, including a seasonal skating rink under the lights.
The Ronstan catenary lighting system suspended above extends and maximizes usage of this valuable new community green space into the evening. It was important for the designers that the green be clear and free of intrusive poles and invasive support structures so that the space could be enjoyed for a variety of passive recreational activities. The Ronstan catenary lighting system achieves all functional lighting requirements and creates a welcoming atmosphere that make users feel comfortable, inviting usage of this public asset well into the evenings, patronage that mirrors and compliments the new lease of life given to the historic 401 Park Drive.
Ronstan worked with the architect and general contractor to develop and refine the catenary lighting system. The entire system, including the poles, was modeled using advanced computer modeling software to accurately predict the loads and to size all components of the structure. One of the major design challenges was keeping the loads within the capacity of the poles. During the installation, Ronstan carefully monitored the tensions and deflection of all the cables to ensure the as-built system matched the model with no components overloaded.
In order to achieve the desired look of the lighting, Ronstan specified load rated stainless steel rings at junctions to allow the cables to orient to the correct positions. A custom grade 316 stainless steel mesh sheath was used to bind the power and structural cables together as one, and Ronstan ACS2-SS-08 (1/4″ diameter) cables formed the structural cable net.
The entire system was installed using boom lifts and scissor lifts positioned outside the poles, as the grass needed to be installed prior to the cable net, in order to allow it to mature in time for the opening. While this added some extra challenges, the resulting green space beneath the lights, remains picture perfect and was ready for communal use at its opening day in July, 2019.
All images: Ellie Macqueen / Ronstan USA.