DXA studio Partner, Wayne Norbeck, with Ziger/Snead Architect.
Hamburger’s Department Store was built on the site in the 1950s. A portion of the building
spanned the adjacent street and landed on the plinth of a Mies van der Rohe office building.
The building provided an overhead walkway that was part of Baltimore’s skywalk system,
which linked the Inner Harbor to downtown. After the department store closed and the
building was purchased by a new owner, it was realized that the view between the East and
West sides of Charles Street was compromised.
Subsequently, the portion that spanned the street was torn down. The Johns Hopkins University agreed to use the building, where its continuing studies business education program would be located. The design strategy is to instill a grand presence within this relatively small structure. The exterior is clad in frit glass so that the building would glow with a milky translucence at night when most classes are held.
The proportions from the Mies building were studied, and the project expresses them
horizontally to address the primary direction of the new building. A dramatic full height atrium, with overlooking levels provides access to the classrooms, auditorium, and offices.