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Spring. 2023

Baltimore. Maryland

Lyceum Fellowship Third Prize Winner 

Just as a new architecture can be a bold expression of an ideology, style, or approach, the careful preservation of an existing site can speak volumes of century old stories.


The Urban Stitch proposes a “patch-work” approach to address the variety of conditions that plague our numerous abandoned pedestrian streets and aging row homes in the United States today. Old Town Mall offers an opportunity, as a case study, to explore the possibilities of these sites programmatically, spatially, and materially. 

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Urban Study

This proposal begins by understanding the larger urban environment surrounding the site and tapping into its optimal spatial position in the downtown of Baltimore, and on the edge of the Baltimore's "Black Butterfly" - the area of segregated black communities fanning across the city's eastern and western halves. Pedestrian accessibility and the creation of new public spaces for urban interactions—commerce, socializing, living, and education— is introduced, in order to enable movement to this site. New bike baths and bus routes take advantage of the traffic provided by John's Hopkins Hospital, while new-formed courtyard spaces integrate with the green spaces of the site. 


"No Building Left Behind Policy"

To imagine a new intervention, the conditions of the existing plots on the site are analyzed, determining the programmatic qualities, as well as the facade, roof and structural integrity of the buildings. In this study, it is evident that all buildings bring something to the scheme, whether it is walls, roofs, floors or recyclable materials for a new architecture. 

The linearity of the mall is interrupted to create a more porous and human-scale experience. The site is then divided into five main clusters of intervention, based on areas that require most maintenance. This proposal focuses on cluster one as an example of this mutating approach. 

Site Clusters

Program & Formal Strategy

Urban Stitch takes from the original mixed-use retail and residential layout of many of the rowhouses, to introduce a new mixed use development. Based on the integrity of the buildings, the new intervention removes buildings that are deteriorating, and re-introduces new residential and retail spaces set back 40' from its position. This improves the quality of light within adjacent buildings and creates internal courtyard spaces. A band of public programs, always located at 34’ above grade, is added to provide spaces for public amenities and exhibitions. A mixture of commerce, work, study, and living are enabled to thrive all in one place-- preserving and growing the identity of Old Town Mall.

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Site Plan





Classroom/ Library View

Reading Room View

Material and Structure

The new architecture re-uses bricks from the selected demolition of buildings from the site, giving homage to the buildings around it and the history it stands behind. The primary steel structure, strategically inserts I-beams in areas necessary within the surrounding brick walls and clads its interior with a light polycarbonate that fluctuates its transparency with its program.

1st Floor Residential

4th Floor Public 

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