Two International Place Building

Two International Place Building
  1. About the Two International Place Building in Boston
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Two International Place Building is a Postmodernist skyscraper designed by Johnson/Burgee Architects and built between 1987 and 1992 in Boston, MA.

Its precise street address is 2 International Place, Boston, MA. You can also find it on the map here.

The building is comprised of a 35-story tower and a 13-story annex. It is one of the towers in a five-structures complex. The Two International Place is linked to One Internacional Place by a fountain court and winter garden.

The building underwent a major restoration in 2023.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago
  1. 2023 - New main entrance, improved lighting, and enhanced accessibility. Upgraded technology and security measures in the lobby and recreational/social areas available to the people working in the building.

Architect and team

Johnson/Burgee Architects was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Johnson/Burgee Architects was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Two International Place Building a reality:

  • McNamara/Salvia, Inc. in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Turner Construction as the Main Contractor
  • Fujitec America as the company in charge of the elevators system
  • The Chiofaro Company as the Main Developer

Architectural Style

The Two International Place Building can be categorized as a Postmodernist building.

Postmodernism in architecture emerged in the United States during the late 1960s as a reaction against the starkness of the International Style, which part of the new generation of architects argued was too impersonal, sterile, and disconnected from historical and cultural contexts.

Postmodernism challenged the International Style's austerity by reintroducing historical elements and ornamentation, although this time not as literally as in the Neo-Classic buildings. Instead, they reinterpreted them within the context of modern materials and construction techniques.

Postmodern buildings often feature bold, contrasting colors, unconventional forms, and a playful blend of various architectural elements from different eras and cultures.

In the United States, Postmodernism was not just an aesthetic choice but also a philosophical stance. It represented a democratization of design, where architects sought to create buildings that were accessible and meaningful to a broader range of people, not just designers and intellectuals.

The Two International Place Building was completed in 1992. By 1992 the Postmodernism movement was experiencing a transition. Critics argued that Postmodernism, initially a rebellious and innovative style, had become formulaic and commercialized, and so the trend started moving away from blending historical styles, irony, and playful ornamentation, and begun to give way to emerging architectural trends concerned with more present matters such as technology, ecology or sustainability.

The Two International Place Building was kind of late to Postmodernist movement, which in some ways might make it seem older than it really is.

Spaces & Uses

The Two International Place Building reaches an architectural height of 538ft (164m). It has a total of 35 floors, served by 38 elevators.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1992, the Two International Place Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

538ft (164m)

Materials & Structure

The Two International Place Building uses a framed tube-in-tube structure , with steel columns and reinforced concrete slabs.

A framed tube-in-tube structure uses a central core, known as inner tube, which usually holds stairs, lifts and installations, and a perimeter of columns around it, which form the exterior tube. The interior tube is tipically more massive (often made of reinforced concrete), and the exterior tube is "lighter" (made of steel or concrete columns). Both tubes are conencted via horizontal elements which make up the floors and also transmit any horizontal froces from the facade to the core.

The facade of the building is load bearing. This is a direct consequence of the integration of the exterior "tube" into the facade, something which most framed tube-in-tube buildings do in order to liberate the interior space from structural elements and achieve a more flexible interior.

So the facade of the builing is techinically load-bearing, yes, however, in between the load-bearing colums we find a modular type of facade, which by itself would not be cosnidered load-bearing.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features unpolished pink marble panels with fixed windows and aluminum frames. In one section of the facade, the windows resemble tripartite windows, but in this case, the upper lunette is false. In another area, the facade is composed of a curtain wall with reflective glass, aluminum frames, and glass spandrels.

The footprint of the building is circular, and it's crowned by an octagonal-based pyramid.