Good architecture is more than an impressive building. The best projects are those that bring positive results for clients and the communities they are placed.
Three recent projects—Broadway Market, Sarah’s Hope, and Moxy DC— exemplify how local architects help companies and communities achieve their goals through good design. Each project received an AIA Baltimore Good Design = Good Business Award as part of the association’s 2019 Excellence in Design Awards. The jury for the awards included Brian Grieb of Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning and co-founder of GriD Architects; Chris Ryer, Director of the Baltimore City Department of Planning; and Mark Caplan, President and CEO of the Time Group.
Broadway Market, designed by PI.KL Studio for the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation, is an impressive and sensitively done renovation of the 200 year old market. This important project returns a historic fixture of the neighborhood to the urban fabric with renewed use and vitality. The design reclaims parking spaces to create nice outdoor spaces. The jury appreciated the flexibility of the design, which could reinvent itself in ten years at minimal cost. The design and construction teams for the project included high participation by minority-owned businesses and engaged multiple community organizations during the planning process. All interior tables were produced by local craftsmen using reclaimed wood beams from a nearby building lost to fire, while all exterior picnic tables and the wood slat utility enclosure were fabricated by a local makerspace and education workshop. The new Broadway Market showcases local chefs and food purveyors and includes all minority- and women-owned local businesses. The design of the space provides a curatorial platform for ongoing cultural and social collaborations.
Sarah’s Hope, designed by Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, is a successful renovation of a school into a welcoming, safe, and dignified sanctuary for homeless children and families. The jury appreciated the project’s powerful, positive aspects, and the examples it offers of effective client-architect collaboration and community engagement. School buildings are difficult building types to adapt, and this is a resourceful intervention. The spaces are modest but dignified, and offer good use of natural light. The shelter teaches self-sufficiency, allowing residents to learn to cook healthy, affordable foods, and engage in employment-readiness courses, life skills, parenting, and financial literacy training. Murphy & Dittenhafer worked with the client and representatives of the Sandtown-Winchester community on a regular basis to design a building that accurately serves the needs of the community.
The Moxy DC, designed by Peter Fillat Architects, is a micro-hotel that offers a new archetype for travel targeting young people with small budgets. The micro-hotel format, with rooms at 172 square feet helps the Moxy to stay competitive on a small footprint where traditional hotels would have difficulty staying afloat. The design offers a modest and clean design solution that exemplifies the Moxy Brand. The jury appreciated the fun and functional design that creates social interaction and activity within, and also pushes travelers outward into the city.
Awards for each project were presented at the 2019 AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Awards Celebration at the Columbus Center on October 18.