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Howard Row wins AIA Award

AIA Maryland has recognized our project Howard Row during its 2021 Awards!

A primary challenge of Howard Row was to work within the constraints of the existing properties, and devise a scheme that maintained the integrity of the structures, preserved historic elements, and provided new innovative floor plans with a total of 53 apartment units and 6 retail spaces. Bringing the buildings to new standards that met the needs and requirements of the design as well as applicable building codes required an innovative approach to the existing shells, in providing necessary means of egress, as well as getting light and air into the most interior units. What resulted for each property was a creatively-arranged floor plan around stairs and light wells, that at the exterior retained the same architectural features of many of the commercial structures built along the Howard St corridor, and within Market Center Historic District of today.

This project arose from the firm's vision to preserve Baltimore's historic buildings, revitalize local neighborhoods, and to promote walkability in the city. The site of this project was six abandoned historic buildings in the Market Center Historic District, which was once a bustling shopping corridor, that had become dilapidated after being abandoned for decades. The bad state of the buildings had become damaging to the livability and safety of the neighborhood. The short-term goal was to remove the stigma related to these long-abandoned buildings along Howard Street and provide the neighborhood with needed housing and retail, with a long-term goal of community growth and cultural revitalization. The firm partnered with City of Baltimore Development Corporation, who is committed to a more equitable economy by supporting minority and women-owned businesses and promoting investment in neighborhoods that have been negatively impacted by institutional racism and/or generational poverty, and facilitates collaboration among partners to intentionally create an inclusive and equitable economy. Creating a partnership between the firm, the owners, and BDC benefits the city and BDC with more opportunities to further revitalize the city and it's communities. The location is extremely walkable as it is near the center of the city and is right across from a light-rail stop as seen in the exterior photos. This along with the mixed-use program of the buildings provides great opportunity for people to live where they work and creates a human-scaled community. The floor plans for the apartment units were designed to be very spacious and modern while being affordable to those already living in this neighborhood.

The team on this project included Urban Design Group's Michael Burton and Ryan Jacobson and Smart Box Construction, for Poverni Sheikh Group.

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