flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

The squeeze is on: The Revolution Hotel

Reconstruction Awards

The squeeze is on: The Revolution Hotel

Once a 1950s-era YWCA, The Revolution is now a hip new hotel in The Hub.

By Robert Cassidy, Executive Editor | December 4, 2019
The Revolution Hotel

The Revolution Hotel team stained the floor with a bold Mid-Century Modern pattern, designed by Adam&Co and Mark Grundig. The murals are by Tristan Eaton.

The Mount Vernon Company threw down the gauntlet to its project team, headed by architect Prellwitz Chilinski Associates and Kaplan Construction: Take this unimaginative Mid-Century Modern YWCA, whose rooms average 125 sf and whose plumbing consists of a small bathroom core in each of its two wings, and turn it into the hippest new boutique hotel in Boston’s South End. And do so while the living quarters were partly occupied.

Oh, one other thing: Do it in two phases, so we can open phase 1 during the busy summer tourist season.

Credit PCA/Kaplan and their team for meeting those demands in creating the 164-key Revolution Hotel. A lobby mural by artist Tristan Eaton and a Wall of Fame in the bar depict local historical figures—among them Malcolm X, Jack Kerouac, Donna Summer, Aerosmith, and Buckminster Fuller—who exemplify “Boston’s revolutionary spirit.”

The tiny room sizes meant that PCA had to design 41 different room configurations and fit each room with custom furniture down to the fraction of an inch. Storage units were fitted under nightstands. Space-saving “gear walls” replaced closets. Full-scale mockups of triple and quad bunk beds were tested.


A triple roomA triple room is just one of the 41 different configurations, including quad bunk bed and king-size plans, that were devised for the boutique hotel’s 165 rooms.


Plumbing/electrical shutdowns, elevator cab renovations, carpet and window replacement, and fire alarm system installation had to be timed to the minute for the safety of the residents on site.

The existing masonry or plaster/lathe walls couldn’t be breached, so all MEP equipment had to be surface mounted. The project team squeezed ductless VRF split systems into the one foot of space that the low ceilings afforded for mechanicals.

Along the way Kaplan crews had to dig a 120-foot trench, breaking up the concrete slab and removing it by hand, to replace corroded drain piping without disturbing the existing rebar.

In a bit of whimsy, the project team cut a small door through a brick wall to the street so passersby can grab a coffee or ice cream from the lobby café.



BUILDING TEAM Prellwitz Chilinski Associates (submitting firm, architect) The Mount Vernon Company (owner) Adams&Co. (creative director) Roome & Guarracino (SE) C3 (MEP) Kaplan Construction (GC) Waypoint KLA (CM) DETAILS 77,000 sf Total cost $20.1 million Construction time September 2016 to December 2018 Delivery method CM at risk

Related Stories

Government Buildings | Jan 9, 2023

Blackstone, Starwood among real estate giants urging President Biden to repurpose unused federal office space for housing

The Real Estate Roundtable, a group including major real estate firms such as Brookfield Properties, Blackstone, Empire State Realty Trust, Starwood Capital, as well as multiple major banks and CRE professional organizations, recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden on the implications of remote work within the federal government.

Giants 400 | Aug 11, 2021

BD+C Awards Programs

Entry information and past winners for Building Design+Construction's two major awards programs: 40 Under 40 and Giants 400

Reconstruction Awards | Mar 12, 2021

Call for entries: 2021 Reconstruction Awards

The 2021 Reconstruction Awards recognize the best reconstructed, renovated, or remodeled projects, based on overall design, engineering, and construction project quality. Entries are due July 16, 2021. 

Reconstruction Awards | Mar 12, 2021

2021 Reconstruction Awards Entry Information

Only projects completed or occupied between January 1, 2020 and July 16, 2021 are eligible.

Reconstruction Awards | Mar 12, 2021

2021 Reconstruction Awards 'How to Win' Tip Sheet

Keep this tip sheet handy when preparing your Reconstruction Awards entry, as these are some items on which your project will be judged.

Reconstruction Awards | Feb 5, 2021

The historic Maryland Theatre is reborn in Hagerstown

The Maryland Theatre project has won a Bronze Award in BD+C's 2020 Reconstruction Awards.

Reconstruction Awards | Jan 30, 2021

Repositioning of historic Sears Roebuck warehouse enlivens Boston’s Fenway neighborhood

Developer Samuels & Associates asked Elkus Manfredi Architects to reimagine the former Sears Roebuck & Co. warehouse in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood as a dynamic mixed-use destination that complements the high-energy Fenway neighborhood while honoring the building’s historical significance.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

Giants 400

BD+C Awards Programs

Entry information and past winners for Building Design+Construction's two major awards programs: 40 Under 40 and Giants 400

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021