The Innovation and Design Building (IDB) was constructed by the US Department of Defense in 1918, and it originally served as awaterside storehouse for the South Boston Army Base. During World War II, 50,000 people worked at the building repairing Americanships and distributing military goods and supplies. This building was used as a warehouse for the South Boston Army Base until its eventual sale to the City of Boston in 1974.



In 2015, Jamestown began its ambitious plans for revitalization of the IDB and has invested $150 million enhancing the building. The Innovation and Design Building is poised to anchor the eastern portion of the Seaport District and today, the 1.4 million square foot, LEED Certified Gold Innovation and Design Building is 84% leased and is the place where Boston’s smart businesses work, meeting the workspace needs of the individuals and companies that are fueling today’s economy.

Elkus Manfredi Architects has provided master planning, building repositioning, and select tenant interior fit-out services at the Innovation and Design Building (IDB) in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park. 

The plan for the IDB envisions a dynamic new environment that will attract all types of inspired businesses, resulting in a new district of creators, makers, and innovators. New entrances at 19, 21, 23, and 25 Drydock, marked by branded shipping containers, correspond to the four distinct addresses and pay homage to the building’s industrial past. The existing 1,400-foot loading dock along the building has become an animated pedestrian arcade activated by retail venues and food/beverage options. This promenade features a series of kiosks and food trucks for a true market atmosphere.


Elkus Manfredi created new entrance treatments for four entries along the length of the Innovation and Design Building. Creating exterior lobbies for each entry, the design includes brightly colored, numbered shipping containers that aid in wayfinding while paying homage to the building’s industrial past and carrying its tradition forward.
©Elkus Manfredi Architects



The first floor houses retail tenants who complement the existing design-related uses in the building. The upper floors welcome design, manufacturing, and tech-related tenants. Other new spaces imagined for the building include a double-height event space, conference center, and eighth-floor restaurant with outdoor seating along the building’s Drydock Avenue side, providing stunning views to Boston Harbor. In addition to reenvisioning the IDB, Elkus Manfredi is the architect for three distinct tenant fit-outs in the building.






The promenade is a spot where activities ranging from spontaneous to organized events are daily occurrences.
©Elkus Manfredi Architects



Wide interior pedestrian sidewalks offer alternative spots for engagement during inclement weather, as well as bike racks and shower rooms for health-minded commuters.