AIA Baltimore holds rowhouse redesign competition

Teams competed to provide the best social and environmental design solutions for the city’s existing rowhouse stock. 

December 07, 2015 |
AIA Baltimore holds rowhouse redesign competition

A team of students from Virginia Tech and local architects from Brown Craig Turner submitted the BeMORE Flats design, which won the Most Resilient Design award.

Baltimore’s chapter of the AIA announced the winners of its B-More | Resilient Rowhouse Design Competition, where entrants provide environmental design solutions for the city’s vacant rowhouses in the Broadway East Neighborhood.

The competition was hosted by Baltimore City Planning Department, Office of Housing and Community Development, Office of Sustainability, and the Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning. Four winners were chosen, one for each of these categories: Most Resilient Concept, Most Feasible Design, Most Innovative Design, and, the main category, Most Resilient Design. 

A team of students from Virginia Tech and local architects from Brown Craig Turner submitted the BeMORE Flats design, which won the Most Resilient Design award. Their plan included green roofs, pedestrian-friendly streets, reclaimed alleys and courtyards, rain gardens, and salvaged wood decking. Plans called for one- and two-bedroom units, with community facilities.

“Although the competition focused on a specific neighborhood, winning designs presented solutions that can be repeated across Baltimore,” AIA Baltimore said in a statement. “To that extent, Morgan State faculty and students plan to analyze the constructability and cost of implementing the winning designs and present their findings to the city. The sooner the urban fabric of Baltimore can adapt to environmental and social challenges, the more resilient the city can be.”

The competition also had three honorable mentions and received more than 20 entries. The jury was made up of city representatives and architecture professionals and educators. AIA Baltimore’s website has a listing of all the entrants and their project plans.

Baltimore has a wide range of rowhouse styles that have been built since the 1700s. Many rowhouses, however, are vacant and have been torn down.

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