David Nagahiro: Pushing the Next Generation Towards Greater Equity, Resilience, and Connection


CBT Architects named the 2022 Architectural Firm of the Year

BOSTON- Boston-based design firm CBT Architects (CBT) works tirelessly in architecture, interior design, and urban design to create tomorrow’s landmarks. After 20 years at 110 Canal Street in Boston, CBT recently moved to its new office in Charlestown at One Constitution Wharf, which will house CBT’s 200 design professionals on one floor for the first time in the firm’s 54-year history.

“Moving to our new headquarters will allow us to push the next generation of our office and the way we do our work. It will afford CBT a way to experiment for the future, explore dynamic ways of communicating with our clients, and totally rethink the way we practice,” David Nagahiro, Principal and President at CBT, said recently.

Over the course of the firm’s 20-year tenure in the Bulfinch Triangle neighborhood, CBT was the architect and designer of many of the projects that have defined the area’s transformation into a distinctive neighborhood. These projects include the new Bulfinch Crossing development at Government Center Garage; the Beverly, one of the city’s most celebrated affordable/workforce housing and mixed-use developments; and the transit-oriented residential high-rise Avalon North Station.

Photo: Greenway, exterior

CBT works globally on projects that range from urban district master planning to all scales of vibrant mixed-use developments, multi-family residential design, life science, workplace, civic/cultural, and academic projects. The firm has 200 architects, urban planners, interior designers, and other creatives working together to deliver unique solutions that respond directly to the needs of each project. Their work benefits from a holistic approach that considers the principles of urban design, down to ergonomic detail and even to sensory experience. Since its founding, CBT has played an important role in a broad range of projects that draws from their deeply collaborative working style and unique ability to understand each client’s mission. For each of our projects to come to life and thrive, they must support the lifestyles and activities of the people who interact with them. CBT’s efforts focus on the creation and rejuvenation of cities, neighborhoods, waterfronts, workplaces, and campus environments.

Photo: Sudbury tower, exterior (Photo/Raj Das)

CBT Architects are proud of their people, their work, and the firm’s principles of Equity, Resilience, and Connection. CBT works to represent these tenets in its everyday work and the experience that the firm’s designs provide to the communities where they exist. Their most recent award-winning and notable projects are numerous, and include:

  • The Eco-Residences II in Masdar City, UAE
  • The new Sudbury tower as part of the redevelopment of Boston’s Government Center Garage
  • Cambridge Crossing, a 40+ master plan in Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge, MA
  • The Suffolk Downs Master Plan in Boston and Revere, MA
  • The LEED-Platinum-certified 121 Seaport elliptical tower
  • The Abu Dhabi Climate Resilience Initiative in the UAE

Projects currently in design and construction at CBT that are of note:

  • Park 151 at Cambridge Crossing
  • The all-electric building at 380 Stuart Street in Boston
  • Armature Works in Washington, DC
  • The master plan and multiple building designs for RISE Sullivan Square
  • 585 Kendall
  • The ultra-hybrid 176 Lincoln in Allston, MA

And include more than a dozen life sciences projects in and around Greater Boston. CBT is also Executive Architect for the large-scale redevelopment of Commonwealth Pier, at the site of the former Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

David Nagahiro
Principal and President, CBT Architects

As Principal and President of the firm, David Nagahiro is the driving force and inspiration behind CBT’s vision, design ethos and advancement of practice into the next generation. He leads the firm’s most ground-breaking projects, often resulting in the revitalization of undeveloped and underutilized urban sites which create places and buildings that enrich urban and community life.

Nagahiro is intimately involved in all aspects of design and is recognized for his tireless pursuit of innovation in professional practice, his insistence on design excellence, and his passion for building strong, sustainable, and resilient places and communities. His passion for the profession is matched by his commitment to the advancement of individuals around him, which makes him an extraordinary agent of change both through his projects and his collaboration with others.

A stalwart supporter of the civic fabric of the community, Nagahiro serves on the Board of Artists for Humanity, the Board of the Boston Preservation Alliance, and the Editorial Board of Architecture Boston. He is an active collaborator and leader in pushing the limits of innovation in art, science, and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Washington State University and attended the Architectural Studies Program at the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture, London.

All the 2022 Excellence Awards winners were honored in the award ceremony at the Boston Real Estate Times Excellence Awards gala on Oct. 6, at the Burlington Marriott hotel in Burlington, MA. For more information on CBT Architects, please visit their website at www.cbtarchitects.com.