July 12, 2019

Baltimore AIA – Edge Harbor and City

Designers from the Baltimore office recently completed an entry into the AIA Baltimore Edge Competition. The cities chapter put on the competition in concert with the spring lecture series that brought in academics, local experts, and nationally recognized designers to discuss Edges, and the inner harbor of Baltimore.

The Edge: Harbor and the City had the prompt of asking if a built structure could be placed on the harbor’s edge to link the land and the sea, the city and the harbor. CannonDesign Baltimore, took the prompt further and explored along a long-buried historic waterway into the harbor: the Jones Falls. The competition limited the group to four images and one 250 word statement about the project.  Selected submissions will be exhibited and published in a local architectural magazine in the fall of 2019.

Project Statement:

Stitch transitive verb: to make, to mend, to join

 The current complexion of Baltimore’s harbor might suggest the addition of a singular structure(s) at its edge; to us, it suggests something more. The harbor’s rich history is tied to both land and sea, natural and manmade systems, and to a diverse people dedicated to its past, present and future. This submission explores how edges can form a “whole” – it proposes that the harbor’s edge can be used as a means to stitch together neighborhoods that are otherwise disconnected. The design response focuses on one of three historic green corridors within the city – the Jones Falls valley. The proposal extends the natural systems, both aquatic and vegetative, along the historic edge.  A new aquatic greenway will unearth the long-buried amenity of the historic Jones Falls stream and will connect the harbor with the city in a profound way, stitching neighborhoods together by allowing the natural systems to expand outward into the fabric of the city. The “stitches” will move over, under, inside, alongside and thru the aquatic greenway; fastening together the distinct parts on either side. Design of the aquatic greenway and stitch interventions will flex specifically in response to flood events in a manner that exploits them.  At several locations, the stitching will extend deeper into the city fabric to create a network with existing green infrastructure. This response is about understanding Baltimore for more than its harbor.

Baltimore 600K+ people, nearly 300 distinct neighborhoods, 1000s of edges

Team: Ryan Jordan Pfarr Monica Pascatore Christina LoConte Anthony Vischansky Adam Louie Ryan Pietrowski