Thursday, August 15, 2019

Design selected for new Center for Architecture & Design at One Charles Center

AIA Baltimore announced  the Baltimore architecture firm Quinn Evans as the winner of a design competition for the new Architecture and Design Center today. The center is to be established at the former Staples store in One Charles Center facing Fayette Street and is scheduled to open early 2020
Mies van der Rohe tower One Charles Center
(Photo: Philipsen)

The selection of this space was the culmination of a several year long effort to give Baltimore a stronger place in which architecture and design can be celebrated than the current AIA headquarters at 11-1/2 West Chase Street allows.

With a design selected AIA now can convert the 3,600 square feet space retail area below the iconic Mies van der Rohe tower which has stood vacant for years after the office supply store left. Also vacant is the former Hamburger clothing store across the street which owner Peter Angelos has transformed into the Hopkins downtown center. Hopkins has since moved to Harbor East.

AIA's move will consolidate architecture oriented functions and give this area of downtown an important boost. The Center will be AIA Baltimore and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation’s new headquarters, and will provide collaborative administrative and program space for allied professional industry, advocacy, and education organizations, including Baltimore Heritage, Inc., the Baltimore Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (Bmore NOMA), the Baltimore Chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI Baltimore), the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA Maryland), and the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning
The retail area at the base of One Charles Center will become the Baltimore
Center for Architecture and Design  (photo: AIA)
Association (APA Maryland), and the Charles Street Development Corporation. The Center will also include flexible program and gallery space, and a small retail space for books on Baltimore architecture.

AIA Baltimore and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation will be relocating from their Mount Vernon headquarters to the Center for Architecture and Design in early 2020. AIA Baltimore plans to sell its current building that it held since since 1988.

Nine firms submitted qualifications in response to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The design jury, comprised of AIA leaders from other AIA chapter and foundation centers for architecture and design, scored the submissions according to the criteria set forth in the RFQ, and made the determination to shortlist 4 firms (rather than 3 as originally planned). Each shortlisted firm was provided with a stipend of $5000 to prepare for the 45 minute presentation and Q&A with the jury on August 1. Documentation on the project was also shared with each team, including the report from the visioning session.

Quinn Evans Architects was selected to design the Baltimore Center for Architecture and Design following a visioning process for programming the space held in May of this year. Quinn Evans Baltimore office used to be Cho Benn Holback and is located in the Mies tower at One Charles Center above the new AIA space. 

AIA states in its press release this Thursday that 
"the proposal from Quinn Evans Architects fulfills AIA Baltimore’s vision to make the Center for Architecture and Design serve as a high profile and visible space to showcase the important role of architects and design, and as a dynamic hub to engage professionals, students, and the public. The design meets the goals of the AIA Baltimore membership to create a center that represents the forefront of design thinking and be a model for sustainable design best practices. The jury recognized the adaptability of the Quinn Evans design and praised its emphasis on community identity and outreach in built form, the use of locally sourced fabrication, procurement and installation, and its spirit of citizenry and community sustainability."
Survey results from visioning session (AIA Baltimore)

The design concept of Quinn Evans can be seen here. The following other firms were selected to take part in the design competition:

Hord Coplan Macht – View Design Proposal // Fly-Through
Quinn Evans Architects – View Design Proposal (Winner)
RM Sovich Architecture – View Design Proposal
Ziger|Snead Architects – View Design Proposal

Jury members were:
Suzanne Frasier, FAIA, Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning | President, AIA Baltimore, Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director, AIA Philadelphia/Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design, Dawn Taylor, Executive Director, Kansas City Center for Architecture & Design, Kim Yao, AIA, Architecture Research Office | President-Elect, AIA New York,
Richard Miller, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Hoefer Wysocki | President, AIA Dallas/Architecture and Design Exchange.
Architecture Center: Quinn Evans floor plan proposal  (AIA) 
Susanne Frasier, FAIA the 2019 President of AIA and a Morgan professor of architecture said in a statement:
Thanks to everyone who made this moment happen. Our new home at One Charles Center will inspire our membership to be part of something larger than ourselves, even larger than our profession and—with our allied organizations—we will be stronger as a group than we are individually.
Design or architecture centers have been magnets for those interested in design providing an opportunity for the public to appreciate design and buildings in cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC and Denver among other cities. 

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

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