Hatchlings, 2023

A winter light activation on The Rose Kennedy Greenway and The Charles River Esplanade


Created by interdisciplinary design team Studio HHH, Hatchlings pays joyful homage to one of Boston’s architectural gems. This creative activation will provide Bostonians with an experiential destination during the coldest months of the year. Selected as the winning design via the Greenway Conservancy’s open call process in Spring 2023, Hatchlings was inspired by a whimsical question posed by Studio HHH: What if the Hatch Shell on The Esplanade hatched a cluster of baby “shells” that wandered off down The Greenway like adventurous ducklings?

This project is a collaborative undertaking between the Greenway Conservancy and the Esplanade Association. With seven Hatchlings on The Greenway and two on the Charles River Esplanade, this project visually links two of Boston’s most-used downtown outdoor spaces. 

Hatchlings will serve as sites for ongoing performances, photo backdrops, and activations, including winter caroling throughout the holiday season. 

Hatchlings is a solar and grid-powered light installation, inviting the public to think more critically about our natural resources while pushing creative and technical limits, envisioning a brighter, more environmentally sustainable future for our city. All nine of the Hatchlings are solar capable, with solar panels integrated into the design of the pavilions, some of the Hatchlings are 100% solar powered while others, those located in areas with less direct sunlight, are supplemented with grid power. 


Hatchlings will be on view on The Greenway and the Esplanade every evening at dusk from November 18, 2023 through February 25, 2024.  

For more information on upcoming events in connection to Hatchlings, please check the Greenway Conservancy’s and the Esplanade Association’s events calendars.  

Follow the Hatchlings’ winter fun on social media @rosekennedygreenway and @esplanadeinboston and share your own posts using the hashtags: #HatchlingsWinterLights // #HatchlingsOnTheGreenway // #HatchlingsOnTheEsplanade





    • 3.5 ft tall x 7 ft wide
    • This Hatchling is nestled in the well-curated plantings of North Meadow, with a half-round stage access from the boardwalk path. It is the brightest Hatchling per sq/in with over 6,000 lights animated in blue, purple, and pink. 

    From this location: Visitors can easily see the Zakim Bridge, another result of the Big Dig project. An iconic feature in Boston’s skyline, the bridge spans 1,432 feet long and has a uniquely asymmetrical, hybrid design; an homage to the city’s past and future. 

    Learn more: North Meadow on The Greenway – History & Background

    Photo credit: Studio HHH



    • 8.5 ft tall x 17 ft wide 
    • The second largest Hatchling on The Greenway, this location is easily accessible from an adjacent park pathway that is Boston’s historic freedom trail and features a multicolored Hatchling that celebrates its adjacency to Boston’s historic North End community. 

    From this location: Visitors can pause and reflect at the Freedom Trail marker, located on the south side of the parcel, across from Boston Public Market. The red bricks lead across the path, denoting the Freedom Trail, a visual reminder of the many layers of history that the land holds.

    Learn more: Remembering Rose Kennedy

    Photo credit: Studio HHH


    • 9.5 ft x 17 ft wide 
    • The largest Hatchling in this cross-park installation, featuring a circular wood stage for performances both spontaneous and planned. The stage extends out into a circle emphasizing the half sphere shape of the Hatchling and features a chevron pattern to echo the wood paneling of the Hatch Memorial Shell. 

    From this location: Though the iconic fountains are off for the winter, visitors can still take a look at the intricate pavers, jigsawing in a spiral pattern. If the pavers have inspired a labyrinth walk, make sure to visit Gateway to Infinity (an Anti-monument), by Maria Molteni, located next to The Greenway carousel. The Greenway carousel is open the full week of Thanksgiving and Christmas, (except for the holidays) and every Friday through Sunday from 11-6 until January 1st.

    Learn more: Rings Fountain: 350 pavers, 156 lights, and 3 miles of wire!

    Photo credit: Studio HHH


    • 7 ft tall x 14 ft wide
    • Tucked inside a ring of trees and less visible from the street, experience this Hatchling in this uniquely forested setting. Large enough to immerse yourself in the sparkling lights, this Hatchling is perfect for a quieter or more contemplative experience.

    From this location:The protection and care of urban wildlife is a hallmark of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy’s mission. This location is informally known to many as The Greenways arboretum due to the unique mix of tree species. Spend some time enjoying nature’s resources, both during the day and at night. While visiting, try to listen for and see a bird in flight.

    Learn more: Birding on The Greenway and in Your Backyard

    Photo credit: Studio HHH


    • 5.5 ft tall x 11 ft wide
    • Located along a curving path with subdued lighting, this Hatchling will appear to be particularly bright and colorful because there are no street lights in this parcel, featuring over 12,000 lights in purple, pink, and green hues. 

    From this location: Take a look around at this urban landscape and notice the lack of electrical infrastructure. Typically quieter and less illuminated than other Greenway parcels, this location presented a unique opportunity to create light in the darkness. The Hatchlings are solar-powered and have been strategically placed to take advantage of solar exposure, including at this location which receives plentiful sunlight throughout the day.

    Learn more: Before the Warm – the Bones of Trees

    Photo credit: Studio HHH


    • 4.3 ft tall x 8.6 ft wide
    • This Hatchling features an animated rainbow of colors intended to compliment the iconic mural Breathe Life Together, and nod to a colorful projection activation of the mural that took place this past Spring. The activation was realized through a collaboration between the muralist ProBlak, design studio Studio HHH, and video artist Pamela Hersch.

    From this location: This location is visible from South Station, an ideal starting place for a Hatchlings tour with a quick walk to visit the smallest Hatchling at Chin Park in Chinatown, then travel north on The Greenway to visit the rest of the Hatchlings

    Learn more: Breathe Life Together, 2022

    Photo credit: Studio HHH


    • 2.5 ft tall x 5 ft wide
    • Visit the smallest Hatchling on The Greenway tucked atop a tiny hill at the gateway to Chin Park, visible for both vehicular and pedestrian visitors. This Hatchling draws color inspiration from the Chinatown Park Gate, featuring vivid red and a mix of warm tones.

    From this location: The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy constantly strives to find ways to maximize user experience in both small and large ways, visitors can view the many large lighting changes from the Serpentine Path to Mary Soo Hoo Park.

    Learn more: Chin Park Lighting Project: Construction Updates & Background

    Photo credit: Studio HHH

  • Studio HHH is a local design studio specializing in creative interventions within the built environment and public realm, led by founder/creative director Vanessa Till Hooper and art production manager Emily Castro. The studio team of all-women designers and artists, including sustainability specialist Teresita Cochran, develops meaningful and engaging experiences at the intersection of art, architecture, and technology. Studio HHH was founded in 2018 in Somerville, MA. They currently operate in Boston, The Berkshires in western MA, and Brooklyn, NY.

  • The Charles River Esplanade is Boston’s historic landmarked riverfront, and the Commonwealth’s most-frequented state park, welcoming over 4 million visitors a year to over 6.5 miles of trails and activities along the 64-acres. The Esplanade Association is the non-profit that works in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to revitalize and enhance the park’s amenities, sustain its natural green space, and build community through free educational, cultural, and recreational programs for all.

  • The Greenway Conservancy’s Winter Lights Program is exclusively funded through private sources. Hatchlings by Studio HHH (2023–2024) was made possible through the generous support of the Greenway Business Improvement District and Meet Boston. The presentation on the Esplanade is funded by individual supporters of the Esplanade Association’s annual programs.