3XN design selected for new Baltimore harbour destination
Iconic building set to connect city community with waterfront
Tenderstream member 3XN has been selected to design an iconic destination at the Inner Harbour of Balitmore. For decades, the site has been an industrial breakpoint for goods, making the city an important gateway to the rest of America. The new building for client MCB Real Estate is intended to connect the local community to its waterfront, housing a diverse mix of retail unique to the city’s identity and in an elevated neighbourhood landscape.
3XN’s winning proposal for 201 E Pratt St. supports the community-oriented vision for the revitalised harbour with a public program that focuses on supporting local businesses, makers, and creatives. The public amenity building will comprise a market hall environment with spatial flexibility and variety of retail sizes, allowing for small local retailers to meet and grow their customer base.
Drawing inspiration from the dipping and swooping sails that dot the waters of Inner Harbor, the building gently curves, becoming a natural extension of the waterfront that nestles in with the existing architecture. Jens Holm, partner in charge for 3XN in North America, states: “The roof will be a publicly accessible landscape with easily traversed terraces that invite people to be a part of the building’s activities and take in the elevated views of the water.”
Like a sail catching and directing the flow of the wind, the edges of the building’s concave curved terraces are tuned to take advantage of the prevailing wind and sea breeze. The generous exterior landscape allows for stormwater management and anticipation of flooding to be embedded into the base design while the building is also envisioned as a community refuge during extreme heat and poor air quality events.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder and creative director at 3XN, says: “For most of my life, Copenhagen’s waterfront was a working harbour – a place of industry, not somewhere where people would hang out, relax, or enjoy their city. The transformation of the harbour into a place for people has transformed the whole city as well, not changing Copenhagen but helping to emphasize what was already special about it. We see this project in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as a way to do the same thing – to give people a place to be together and to celebrate their city.”
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