Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Boston, MA




1,700,000 SF


Massachusetts Convention Center Authority


Rafael Viñoly Architects PC with HNTB Architecture


2005 IES Illumination Award of Merit


© Douglas A. Salin, © Lam Partners

The 1.7 million-square-foot Boston Convention and Exhibition Center includes 550,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space under a spectacular 100-foot-high curving roof. The roof floats above continuous clerestory windows, allowing a significant amount of daylight to penetrate the hall.

Columns and pendant-mounted asymmetric uplights provide shadow-free ambient lighting, and create the illusion of stretching the daylight across the ceiling.

No downlight existed that would provide the size, beam pattern, and glare control required for this exceptionally high space, so a custom fixture was designed with an internal tilt mechanism so that fixtures could be individually aimed, ensuring uniformity across the entire floor. The fixtures are top-accessible for maintenance through hatches in the floors of the catwalks.

The 84 meeting rooms and ballrooms are lighted with architecturally integrated coves and wall slots, and dimmable downlights using energy-efficient sources. Easy-to-use preset control systems and occupancy sensors control the meeting room lights.

Related Projects