Ayers/Saint/Gross, Baltimore’s largest architecture firm, won an Honor Award in the 19th annual Professional Awards Program by the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Maryland and Potomac chapters for three conceptual designs of Rash Field they created for the Greater Baltimore Committee.
Ayers/Saint/Gross’ “Rash Field: Re-Envisioned Project” will be honored at an awards banquet held on April 27 at the District Architecture Center in Washington, D.C.
The GBC unveiled three concepts to redesign Rash Field in spring 2011. The concepts reflected the GBC’s request for options that would incorporate recreation venues, history, trees, outdoor sculpture and open space into designs that rival other similarly-sized urban parks in cities such as New York and Seattle.
In a three-month long survey the GBC conducted after unveiling the Ayers/Saint/Gross options, the concept Harbor Loop won by a large majority.
Sixty percent of the 2,357 total respondents chose the concept that included a pedestrian bridge across the harbor to Pier 5. Modeled after similar bridges in Europe, the pedestrian bridge would be open to enable large ships to pass into the Inner Harbor. The bridge would complete a circular 1.5-mile Inner Harbor Walk.
This option also proposed a large elongated oval green with four gardens at each corner, a ramp beginning just to the east of the Science Center which would rise on the south side of the green, bordered by north-facing terraced seating. This ramp would continue to rise past an eastern band-shell and large public art collection, leap across the harbor southeast of the Rusty Scupper, and bridge the harbor to the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse at Pier 5. From this point, a new small diagonal bridge would connect west to the Aquarium and the Inner Harbor, or west to Pier Six and Inner Harbor East. This scheme also included a bridge across Key Highway to Federal Hill and the Visionary Arts Museum.
Other options proposed included the Federal Hill Connector, which garnered 26.7 percent of the vote and replaced the garage in front of the Rusty Scupper with an underground garage which would then be covered by an athletic-themed garden for volleyball and basketball and a children’s garden.
Garden Terrace, which won 12.3 percent, proposed a solar panel cover the surface parking lot on the southwest corner of the site, with a large series of sports courts, including volleyball and basketball, lining the northwest edge adjacent to the harbor promenade. To the east, a large rectangle green bordered by two bosques of trees would contain children’s gardens and sculpture courts.