HDG partnered with BCT Architects and Berman Enterprises to convert the 1960’s Mercantile Bank and Trust Building in Baltimore’s Charles Center to a residential multi-family apartment building. A complex with 180 apartment units plus a federal government agency headquarters, its historic designation presented challenges. Prevented from altering anything that was original to the building’s exterior or its two-story interior lobby, the original flooring, ceiling beam structure, elevator lobby, and bronze storefront systems had to remain.
When designing the public space and amenity interiors, it became necessary to transform the Brutalist details of the 60’s to a building that feels like home. While supporting the historic features, the HDG interior design team planned a free-standing concierge desk and mail structure in the lobby that provided the function required for the building and at the same time, supported the residential vibe. To add comfort and intimate personal spaces within this voluminous and austere environment, new lighting was installed, a coffee café was created, and the existing marble bench was made comfortable with cushions and lounge seating. With the revival of mid-century modern design, the design team was able to source original designs from the 60’s and transform the interior architecture into a modern-day, Class-A apartment building that celebrates its history.
Overlooking Camden Yards, the design team-oriented the 21st-floor clubroom to provide optimal views of this iconic Baltimore stadium. Multiple, intimate co-working spaces and lounge areas make it easy to find a space to settle in for a few hours or all day. Further embracing the mid-century building period, a palette of neutrals accented with orange and turquoise was selected. A vintage 1960s clock display became a pleasant nod to the past in the thoroughly modern fitness area—one of many 21st-century amenities throughout the building.
The large, existing basement space provided the perfect opportunity to expand the resident amenities package to include an indoor pet spa and dog walk (with drainage and waste disposal), a large bike room and a no-frills weight room with a climbing wall.
Some office buildings pose steep challenges for developers who want to adapt them as residential apartments. In this case, the 2 Hopkins building footprint provided optimal spacing for the apartment unit layouts. Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building, paired with 10-foot ceiling heights on every floor, created views of Baltimore that would be difficult to attain in a new-construction high-rise development. The expansive lobby, basement level, and 21st floor allowed the design team to provide every amenity expected in a brand-new multi-family building.
|Design and Architecture, Multi-Family Renovation/Conversion