The purpose of this project was to design a new office complex / test center for the Prometric Headquaters in Baltimore, Maryland that would experiment with clean energy technologies. The goal of the client was to maximize the potential of brick as both a construction material and a sustainable technology. In our design we focused on both the contrast and coexistence of solids and voids. To accomplish this we laid out a mat scheme that inverses and questions the conventional idea of the office building. Looking at the strictness of the brick module we wanted to create surfaces that made the brick system appear more organic and playful. To do so we subtracted “chunks” of light and outdoor space from the solid mat system, and then contrasted this seemingly random process with a rigid, grid-organization of “boxes.” Bringing together two contradictory ideas, we were able to create a dynamic relationship between order and disorder.
Through this design, the project seeks to attract native bird species, establish flexibility in accessibility, generate public interest, and revitalize the site’s connection to the Baltimore Bay. Brick is employed in the project as both a structural element and as a design element. Brick groin vaults abut one another and rest upon a forest of brick columns. On the floors above, the vaults burst through and create a very charismatic environment. The difference in heights between the ceiling and ground create an internal cavity to redirect gray water to trees and plants within the site. The multiple layers of brick and cavity spaces become useful sources of thermal mass which can heat office spaces.
Status: School Project
Location: Baltimore, Maryland