Baltimore is one of the oldest cities in America. It’s seen the rise of industrialization, as well as its fall. But rather than succumb to the economically destabilizing effects of closing factories, the city has charged into the 21st century by transforming itself into a service-oriented economy. Today, almost 25 percent of jobs in Baltimore are in the science, technology, and math sectors. This development trend is reflected in the following 10 architectural firms, who make it a priority to design with sustainability in mind.

Top Architects

Gaudreau, Inc.

William A.L. Gaudreau
David G. Gaudreau

AIA Baltimore Environmentally Sustainable Design Award for Excellence,
AIA Maryland Institutional Architecture Honor Award

810 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

About Gaudreau, Inc.

The first firm on the list was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Lucien E.D. Gaudreau, an architect and engineer from Massachusetts. He worked for religious communities, and then education and housing clients. In the 1930s, he was joined by his eldest son. By the ‘50s, more of his sons joined the firm, and their work expanded to to universities, office buildings, and courthouses. Today, the principals of the firm are still all Gaudreaus. William A.L. Gaudreau, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the CEO and president of the firm. His past accomplishments include being president of AIA Baltimore. Acting as COO and Senior Vice President is David G. Gaudreau, AIA. He used to serve as the Treasurer of AIA Maryland. Together, their clients include Cornell University, the National Institute of Health, and the DEA. The firm has enjoyed success across 30 states and has become known for design excellence and community servic

Featured Projects

Gaudreau’s presence in Baltimore includes the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Research Park, Building No. 2. The building is a four-story office and research space that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified. The face of the building has a professional minimalism and was meant to complement the surrounding university environs. Seen as evidence of the firm’s dedication to community service, Gaudreau. master planned more than eight YMCA of Central Maryland sites around the state, including in Baltimore itself. The locations are comprised of multipurpose gyms, aquatic spaces, and health studios, all supported by natural light, dehumidification, and temperature and lighting systems.

Colimore Architects

James A. Colimore

AIA Baltimore Excellence in K-12 Education Design,
The Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Award

1240 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

About Colimore Architects

Before becoming President of this architectural firm, James A. Colimore, Jr., AIA served as the President, Director, and Treasurer of AIA Baltimore. Since Colimore Architects’ founding in 1973 during Baltimore’s development boom, it has provided architectural services to clients in the public and private sector. Colimore specializes in commercial, education, and healthcare projects, with an emphasis on sustainable design, evident in the achievement of LEED Silver for a number of their design projects. The firm boasts a list of repeat clientele over the course of their four-decade history, securing their position as a Baltimore mainstay. Colimore’s scope of work also includes renovations and adaptive reuse. The firm has been recognized and awarded by The Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as the Masonry Institute of Maryland multiple times.

Featured Projects

Colimore designed the three 77,000-square-foot Quarry Lake office buildings and its accompanying parking structure with sustainable practices in mind. The project was one of the several that Colimore completed for Obrecht Properties, in addition to the Northwest Hospital Medical office building and the Citron Restaurant at Quarry Lake. Colimore’s work at Quarry Lake earned them the 2006 Design and Craftsmanship Award from the Masonry Institute of Maryland. Colimore Architects was later contracted by Roy Kirby & Sons to provide architectural and sustainable design services for the Howard County Bus Maintenance facility, a 21,000-square-foot single-story building. Staying true to their design philosophy, Colimore minimized operational and maintenance costs by using prefinished, insulated metal panels and ground-faced block for the exterior of the building, both of which do not require paint or maintenance. Construction also provided for daylight harvesting clerestory windows.

Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects

David C. Ammon
Joseph L. Heisler III
Harold R. Sachs II

AIA Maryland Design Awards

One North Charles Street, Mezzanine 1, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects

The principals who lead this Charm City firm’s talented designers are David C. Ammon, AIA, Joseph L. Heisler III, AIA, and Harold R. Sachs II, AIA — all LEED AP. They are experienced in multiple sectors, and that is reflected in the clients they serve. Their areas of expertise include healthcare, banking, retail, and corporate applications of architecture. The quality of their work speaks through the testimonials of their clients and can be found on the front page of their website. Accolades reference Ammon Heisler Sachs as attentive, trustworthy, and able to produce the desired results with its projects. The firm finds workable solutions to its clients’ architectural, planning, and interior design problems, and their designs have won awards including the AIA Maryland People’s Choice and Design Awards.

Featured Projects

One of AHSa’s notable projects is 6300 Blair Hill Ln, an office for lease located in the North Baltimore area. The construction cost totaled to $9.8M for the 43,500-square-foot area. The result was a four-story, brick-faced building with two floors of parking and two floors of office space, meeting space, a kitchen, and storage. The office spaces were designed with an open floor plan to utilize the natural light. An open-air plaza can be found on the fourth floor of the property. Across the street from the Baltimore Museum of Industry is the Race Pace location at 1414 Key Highway. What used to be the location of a King Syrup factory turned museum storage facility was renovated into commercial office space by AHSa for the Race Pace cycling company. The project covered the development’s 13,000-square-foot area.

BHC Architects

Todd Harvey
Sal Coco

1300 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231

About BHC Architects

As one of the oldest firms on this list, Beatty Harvey Coco Architects has been serving the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with their technical expertise since 1880. BHC shows no signs of stopping. Their projects in current development include the future Wills Wharf, a 12-story mixed-used building to be completed in 2018, and 1405 Point, a multi-family, 17-story, LEED Silver building to be completed later this year. BHC’s portfolio includes mixed-use buildings and residential, hospitality, office, and public projects. For the last two decades, the firm has steadily moved forward, designing, planning, and developing Charm City’s entire Harbor East. This area amounts to 5M square feet, which includes four hotels, residential units, retail shops, and entertainment spaces.

Featured Projects

A towering feature on the Inner Harbor skyline is the Legg Mason HQ building. The ninth tallest building in the city of Baltimore rises 24 stories and includes the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Overlooking the harbor at the base of the towers are restaurants, retail shops, meeting spaces, and a fitness center. The development continues below ground with a five-story parking garage. As the architect of the project, BHC helped the building achieve a LEED Silver rating, with a LEED Gold for the interiors. In addition, the project was also recognized in 2009 with a WaveMaker Award. Not far from the site of the Legg Mason building is the Exelon Tower, the new HQ of the eponymous Fortune 150 company. The 350-foot tall, LEED Gold building houses a 65,000-square-foot, 24-hour trading floor with a 45,000-square-foot mezzanine above. The rest of the building is reserved for parking, residential, and retail usage.

Cho Benn Holback + Associates

Diane E. Cho
David Benn
George Holback

Design Awards,
Grand Design Awards,
Good Design = Good Community Awards

100 N. Charles Street, 14th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Cho Benn Holback + Associates

Diane E. Cho, AIA, LEED GA, David Benn, AIA, LEEP AP, and George Holback, AIA, LEED AP are the principals of this Baltimore-based, women- and minority-owned architectural firm. Cho Benn Holback has created designs for the art, education, community, residential, commercial, and transportation development markets, with big names in its client list, including the Johns Hopkins University, the National Air & Space Museum, the National Park Service, Safeway, and the Baltimore Ravens. The AIA’s ARCHITECT magazine covered the firm’s work in renovating the historic properties of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater in downtown Baltimore and part of the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. Additionally, the firm’s work in the city has received Design Awards, Grand Design Awards, Good Design = Good Community Awards, and several Honorable Mentions.

Featured Projects

The “city of neighborhoods” is a nearly 300-year-old city, full of historic locations that have lived through its industrialization, deindustrialization, and reemergence as a technological hotspot. To bring one of these buildings into the new millennium, Humanim commissioned Cho Benn Holback to renovate the American Brewery. The firm was recognized with a Baltimore Heritage Historic Preservation Award for their efforts to update the building. Cho Benn Holback isn’t limited to renovations, though, as seen through their work on the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Orleans Street Branch. The 15,000-square-foot library in downtown Baltimore is the first new branch built in the last thirty years, and it includes a reading room, a computer classroom, and meeting spaces. The library was later named the Public Building of the Year by AIA Maryland.

Ayers Saint Gross

Luanne Greene
Glenn Birx
Adam Gross

AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design,
AIA Maryland Merit Award for Institutional Architecture,
AIA Arizona Distinguished Merit Award

1040 Hull Street, Suite 100, Baltimore, MD 21230

About Ayers Saint Gross

Ayers Saint Gross’s leadership team is full of experienced, accomplished architects. Luanne Greene, FAIA, LEED AP is the President of the firm. She has over three decades of experience and is an advocate of sustainable planning strategies. She has worked with numerous colleges and universities not only in Baltimore, but also across the United States. Ayers Saint Gross’s principals include Glenn Birx, FAIA, LEED AP, who is a nationally recognized expert in Building Information Modeling; and Adam Gross, FAIA, a planner and designer who lectures on urban design and master planning. The firm, which is rated highly not only on the consumer-facing Yelp, but also the employee platform Glassdoor, was founded over a century ago, and their reputation is built on their enduring value.

Featured Projects

The eight-floor, 240k-square-foot, $57.2M, LEED Gold-certified Thames Street Wharf Building is one of Ayers Saint Gross’s most impressive projects. The office building features a green roof, energy recovery, and stormwater management systems. In 2014, the building was sold to KBS Realty Advisors for $89M, the highest price paid for an office building since 2005. The Sagamore Spirit Distillery, located in the culturally and ethnically diverse area of South Baltimore, is a 60,000-square-foot waterfront complex comprised of three buildings, plus an onsite water tower, holding spring water transported from Sagamore Farm. One of the commercial businesses is a restaurant overlooking the distillery itself. Ayers Saint Gross has also renovated the 12-year-old Baltimore Visitor Center into a space that can hold events like wedding receptions, press conferences, and live entertainment. Since the property regularly sees 400k guests per year, the improvements are hoped to help generate revenue from such events.

Peter Fillat Architects

Peter Fillat

AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design,
AIA Maryland Excellence in Design,
ULI Baltimore WaveMaker Award

509 S Exeter Street, Suite 310, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Peter Fillat Architects

Originally founded as Studio Wanda in 1992, and also known as Fillat+ Architecture today, Peter Fillat, AIA, LEED AP heads this firm, which has offices in Washington DC, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He was educated at Syracuse University, and before founding his own firm, he worked with RTKL associates for nearly a decade. He and David Marcozzi, Assoc. AIA and the Associate Principal at the Baltimore office both have extensive experience with hospitality, high-end resort, and mixed-use projects. The firm develops working relationships with its clients, from site analysis to managing projects along the way in service of sustainable practices. The team of Fillat+ has been recognized for their efforts by AIA Baltimore and AIA Maryland for excellence in design, and by ULI Baltimore with a WaveMaker award.

Featured Projects

Fillat+ was in charge of the design for an 18-acre mixed-use development project comprised of six parcels encompassing the the waterfront along Harbor East, with construction completed in 2010. Stretching across the Business District to Fells Point, the project boasted 300k square feet of retail space, 800k square feet of office space, 350 rental residences, and 2,500 parking spaces. Buildings designed by Fillat+ include the highly-rated Waterfront Marriott and the Vue high-rise hotel, which features a seven-screen movie theater within the building. The firm also designed 1 Light Street, a mixed-use office and hospitality building still in construction. Once completed, the structure will stand 35 stories above Charm City’s financial district, including 415k square feet of office space, 267 hotel rooms, and 25,000 square feet of retail space. There will be an atrium located where the hotel begins on the 11th floor.


Archibald Rogers
Francis Taliaferro
George Kostritsky
Charles Lamb

ALSA Texas Professional Awards,
ICSC U.S. Design and Development Awards,
Hospitality Industry Network Top Interior Design Firms Winner

901 South Bond Street, Baltimore, MD 21231

About CallisonRTKL

The architecture, planning, and design firm known as CallisonRTKL was founded by Archibald Rogers in his grandmother’s basement in Annapolis, MD, in 1946. The “R” of RTKL was soon joined by Francis Taliaferro, George Kostritsky, and Charles Lamb, and the growing firm was soon after commissioned to design for the city of Baltimore. The firm experienced rapid growth, both nationally and internationally, before it was acquired by Arcadis NV and merged with the Seattle-based Callison. CallisonRTKL lists architecture, commercial interiors, healthcare facility planning, store planning and design, and landscape architecture among its many services. While based in Baltimore, the firm’s influence can be seen countrywide, from the L.A. Live entertainment complex in Los Angeles, CA, to the redesign of the Pentagon following the September 11th attacks in Arlington, Virginia.

Featured Projects

Commerce Place, located at 1 South Street in Central Baltimore, was designed by Geraldine Pontius, AIA, when the firm was still RTKL Associates. Commerce Place is the fourth-largest building in Charm City, standing at 454 feet with 31 floors. Twenty three of those floors are reserved for commercial offices, six are for parking, and two for retail space. The postmodern, LEED Silver-certified building provides world-class views of the Inner Harbor, including the historic, red brick Phoenix Shot Tower. One of the more recent contributions CallisonRTKL has made to the the renewal of downtown Baltimore is the Hilton Baltimore. Commissioned by the Baltimore Development Corporation, the 757-key hotel accommodates the influx of guests from the City Convention Center and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was constructed with green, sustainable design philosophy in mind, using local building materials and featuring the state’s largest green roof.

Ziger/Snead Architects

Steve Ziger
James A. Snead
Douglas Bothner

AIA Baltimore Design Award,
Baltimore Design + Construction Reconstruction Awards Honorable Mention,
USGBC Maryland Chapter Special Recognition Award

1006 Morton Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Ziger/Snead Architects

Named one of the top 50 Architects for Sustainability by ARCHITECT, the AIA’s magazine, Ziger/Snead Architects lives up to its ranking with an efficient and green approach to design, as well as through the promotion and education efforts of their “Green Team.” To prove it, Ziger/Snead lists the nearly 100 awards they have received over the course of their 30-year history. Their honors hail from AIA Baltimore, Baltimore Heritage, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the US Green Building Council, and the Urban Land Institute. The partners of the firm are Steve Ziger, AIA, James A. Snead, AIA, and Douglas Bothner, AIA, LEED AP, who lead a team of general and senior associates and associates, many of whom are also AIA certified.

Featured Projects

The Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art demonstrates Ziger/Snead’s client-driven design process. The striking, angular exterior of the building belies a simple floor plan that creates plenty of light-filled hallways that serve to exhibit student work. The 61,000-square-foot, $17M building includes an atrium space, an auditorium, galleries, meeting and lecture rooms, a video studio, and office spaces. Since its completion, attendance at the campus has seen an increase of 30%. Another notable project delivered by Ziger/Snead is the Under Armour Visitor Center commissioned by the company itself. The digital health and fitness company, now the largest one on Earth, have headquarters in Baltimore. The visitor center, nicknamed “Home Base,” features a lounge area, a cafe, and an outdoor seating deck. It sits on an area of 7,500 square feet and cost $2.8M to build.

Design Collective

Dennis Jankiewicz
Fred Marino

AIA Baltimore Honor Awards,
AIA Maryland Design Awards,
Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter Gold Award in Commercial

601 East Pratt Street, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Design Collective

The 90-strong staff of Design Collective approaches their clients’ visions from three perspectives: the urbanist who designs with the community in mind, the humanist who creates according to needs, and the environmentalist who integrates architecture and nature. This method has brought Design Collective success throughout the United States and earned them several awards, being recognized by AIA Baltimore with Honor Awards, AIA Maryland with Design Awards, and the Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter with a Gold Award in Commercial. With a leadership comprised of AIA-certified members including Luis Bernardo, FAIA, it’s not surprising to see Design Collective at the the top of this list. The firm’s work can be seen in the education, research, entertainment, and cultural spheres, using their spaces to bring people together.

Featured Projects

Exemplifying Design Collective’s design philosophy is The Zenith, a 20-story $46M mixed-use building that features a unique curved facade and a protective curtain wall skin. Meanwhile, the 27-story, $60M Harborview in Inner Harbor is a waterfront high rise that houses condominiums and penthouse suites. While a parking garage might be the last place you’d expect to see aesthetic architecture, Design Collective was commissioned by Lexington MKP Management LP to design Burke’s Parking Garage, a $24M project that combines concrete, metal panels, and glass to create a highly visible garage that doesn’t look out of place next to the historic masonry buildings next to it. Like many other architects on this list, Design Collective has done their part to contribute to Baltimore’s continued development, upholding the beauty of this historic city.

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