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April 12, 2019 / Member News

Event Recap: Good Design = Good Health: AIA Baltimore’s Health & Wellness 4th Annual Showcase

Photo courtesy Tinashe Kasiyamhuru, Morgan State University School of Architecture & Planning


Baltimore, MD (April 12, 2019) – Guests mingled around a spread of hors d’oeuvres for the 4th Annual Design Showcase: Good Design=Good Health. In the showroom of MOI Inc, DIRRT modular interiors opened up to the projects on display. Heather Rustici and David Watts, Co-Chairs of the AIA Baltimore Health & Wellness Committee, made opening remarks. They introduced Baltimore-based industry professionals and students of Morgan State University who curated design projects that are bringing healing to the city and its residents.
Indoor-outdoor connections were a compelling theme of the eveningSite Resources incorporated garden space into the senior living physical and emotional healing process, allowing for reflection, rehabilitation, and visitation. Sensory experiences intertwined an entire ecosystem with environmental quality inviting birds and insects around a reservoir for rehabilitation. Mahan Rykiel Associates focused on stakeholder engagement for the Rash Field redevelopment, resulting in a unique playground, skate park adjacent to the volleyball beach, different vantage points around the activities, and views with surrounded seating. RK&K breathed new life into San Martin Drive with the pedestrian improvement projects revitalizing walkways in despair, poor lighting, high speed traffic, and soil compacting at the canopy. The meditation lake house and yoga retreat of the Zen Society prioritized water visibility and an apple orchard. Listening to the client and idea generation was essential to eventually achieve cohesive design.
Technology features were another common thread applied in the built imagination: BKM incorporated light temperature controls and sound proofing for therapy in hospitals. Marshall Craft Associates addressed the impact of drug abuse at the Harford Crisis Center call center and outpatient clinic in two phases. The third phase will encompass urgent care pods and a residential treatment facility for group and one-on-one therapy. DRP Construction provided a calm, warm, nurturing environment for the new UMC Medical Labor and Delivery Unit to be completed over 12 phases. Jeffrey Brown Contracting (JBC) created a 24-hour gym, kickboxing studio, cycling class with a light system and theater features, and cafe space for healthy eating under the roof of the Atlantic Coast Athletic Club. JBC also unveiled the Terps’ new volleyball locker room, designed with the a bump-out into the gym for access and a view of the crowd during game days. Penza Bailey Architects brought social services, therapy, and learning to the Baltimore Youth Detention Facility. Chambers renovated a metal building for the Oxford Athletic Club to have an embracing lobby, golf simulators, breakout work rooms, childcare, and in-house treatment rooms complementing the fitness studios. CRGA Design proposed a solution for the forever changing healthcare industry–the kinetic hospital with floors, rooms and pods, built section by section with changeable use and movement.
Reuse was elegantly executed in many of the projects: Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects brought back the luster and lighting of a historic freight train station by transforming it into the Merritt Downtown Athletic Club. Hybrid steel and wooden structure remained exposed, with glass roll up doors and a glass roof above the pool. Leach Wallace Associates intertwined five practices into one location at the Seton Medical Group of St Agnes Hospital with the goal of pushing care out of the hospital and into the community. A former furniture store became the functional primary care facility with in-house labs. Cannon Design hope to set the stage for college campus wellness centers by modernizing the Virginia Tech Student Wellness Center in the preserved, Gothic-style 1926 WWI Memorial Hall. Curry Architects used design to dispel the shame of getting medicine at Culta Dispensary. A former bank, security and safety continue to be top of mind, but the spa-like aesthetic is open and welcoming, and views of the Inner Harbor make the space light, bright, with a clean presence.
Addressing a public gap and need was at the forefront of student projectsTinashe Kasiyamhim provided a built solution for the weight gain on a university’s campus. He designed a master plan with a farm, food market, open kitchen, central gym, and distribution system via autonomous vehicles for more holistic energy exchange. Carla Kilian proposed a living pharmacy to generate social capital and access to health by using medicinal plants to heal the underprivileged in a model of sourcing, sharing, and healing. Joe Taylor had a goal of leveling the playing field by making sports accessible to youth in disadvantages communities. He intended to open up a park grid to the community with access points and walkways, and communal warm-ups for social interactions. Ginikachi Eburuoh envisioned affordable healthcare delivery to urban neighborhoods lacking access. She designed care systems as a convenient and caring exchange between professionals and community members to avoid illnesses becoming acute. Gabriel Maslen & Vincenza Perla translated good health into housing using modular homes for block configuring at the micro scale.
Release courtesy Ghadeer Mansour, ULI Baltimore