Architecture  |  Planning  |  Experience Design


Overview was retained by the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority (SSA) to undertake a comprehensive study for reconstructing the Woods Hole Ferry Terminal Facility. The study assessed SSA’s current operations and future needs, and evaluated alternatives for renovation and/or replacement of the existing landside and waterside components of the terminal.


The Woods Hole Ferry has been in continuous operation at this location for over 130 years, serving as the main link between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland. Marine and land transit modes have evolved dramatically over the decades. Initially accessed exclusively by rail, the current site now serves as an intermodal transportation center anchored around a utilitarian terminal facility from the late 1940’s that has reached the end of its service life. Today, the Steamship Authority transports 2.7 million people and 250 thousand vehicles a year from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard, making it one of the busiest transit hubs in the Northeast.

The recommendations of the feasibility study included complete reconstruction of the waterfront to accommodate three new ferry slips and two new passenger boarding piers, along with complete redesign of ground transportation services, infrastructure, and a new passenger terminal building positioned close to the water. Studies were also conducted to assess the feasibility of retaining SSA’s administrative offices on-site, but due to space limitations it was determined that a new facility would be designed and constructed off-site (see BIA project page for the new administrative office building).

The design team initially developed three alternative options, along with phasing plans and conceptual cost estimates. Over the course of the study the design team developed several additional concept alternatives to address particular community concerns and operational preferences. The design team was also tasked with undertaking a study of the Great Harbor currents and bathymetric conditions to evaluate potential impacts on ferry vessel movements and berthing.

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