Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD USA

Location: Baltimore, ML, USA
Client: Baltimore Development Corporation
Architect: Design Collective
Size: 14 acres
Status: Completed 1993

The masterplan was the competition winner for the West Shore and Rash Field areas of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The objectives accomplished by the masterplan were:

  • to increase the connection from the Inner Harbor to the adjacent neighborhoods
  • to decrease the linear experience of the Promenade along the Harbor by creating a series of spaces
  • to create a destination for tourists and residents, both young and old, and to be inclusive and accessible to all
  • to create opportunities for experiences which are unique to Baltimore

To accomplish these objectives, a series of spaces have been created that have both specific and universal meaning. These spaces include the Crab Walk, an entry field of stainless steel poles topped by glowing blue-crabs, each designed to catch the wind and produce a particular musical tone. The Picnic Park, near the proposed Visitors’ Center, is an interactive information plaza designed to provide information about Baltimore and the state of Maryland to tourists and residents alike. The Natural History Spiral sits at the heart of the Inner Harbor, making a grand gesture to join the land, water, and people – all essential ingredients of Baltimore.

The Science Playground will be composed of a series of twenty foot square brick platforms accessible by small steps. Each platform will provide a room-scale setting for outdoor exhibits and interactive artwork. A variety of interactive water elements will be found, like follies in an Italian garden, throughout this exhibition plaza. The Neighborhood Walk, a wide covered walkway, acts as a mediation between the Inner Harbor’s pedestrian scale and the much larger scale of the buildings which now define the spatial edge of the Western Shore. This walkway structure recalls Baltimore’s row-houses and the waterfront warehouses once found along Light Street. Blue Crab Park, a passive, green, rolling landform, will be a front lawn for the residents of adjacent neighborhoods and will provide recreational open space for these communities.