The Open Works site works as hard as the building does. Designed to accommodate events, casual gatherings, stormwater management and parking, it also brings the work of this makerspace and artists’ collaborative outdoors.
The northeast corridor railroad track cuts a channel to the south of the triangular site. Grade steps up to the lower level, to a midpoint, and then to the upper edge along Greenmount Avenue. Before renovation, the building was a much abused warehouse and parking lot across from Greenmount Cemetery in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore.
The whole site is an extension of the collaboration inside the building. The 2-story building has two public faces, a treed streetscape along Greenmount Avenue, and a flexible open space/parking area downhill from this. Anchored by a signage totem pole at the north corner of the site, the design slices the landscape at angles, creating a series of triangles. The main path meets a wedge of crushed stone wrapped by site walls. At their base is a stepped Ipe deck which acts as spill out space for the café inside. The deck is also occasionally a stage, while the parking area is designed for larger parties and other events. All bleed seamlessly from one to the other. Materials include the Ipe deck, crushed stone, concrete and asphalt. Plantings are reduced to two species each of canopy trees and grasses.
This work was performed in conjunction with Cho Benn Holback + Associates.