Overview

The Baltimore of yesteryear was an industrial city focused on manufacturing. The Charm City of today is undergoing a reawakening as young professionals move in and start to change the city into what Forbes called a “new tech hot spot.” It’s a far cry from the city of neighborhoods’ harbor factory origins, but that doesn’t mean its businesses cannot adapt to the changing times. The established architecture firms on this list highlights those that are adapting their designs to accommodate the trend of open office spaces: they have the clients, awards, and affiliations to prove it.

Top Architects

Arium AE

Architects:
Scott Walthour
Brian Frels
Stephanie Bounds Nunn

Address:
5537 Twin Knolls Rd. Suite #435, Columbia, MD 21045

About Arium AE

Arium AE was founded in 1988. Since then, it has cultivated a loyal client base composed of names in the public and private sectors. So far, its portfolio shows completed projects in the commercial, residential, government, education, and healthcare sectors. With its reputation as a thriving and financially stable practice, 80% of its work is commissioned by repeat clients. Arium specializes in a variety of disciplines alongside architecture. Those disciplines include interior design, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering, planning, and green design. Arium AE is also certified by Green Globes—a green rating assessment and certification program similar to the LEED. Aside from this certification, the firm is also led by a team of principals with associations from various well-known industry organizations including the AIA, NCARB, and LEED. These principals include Scott Walthour, a LEED Advanced professional certified in Building Design and Construction, Brian Fels who has a membership within the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and Stephanie Bounds Nunn who is an AIA, NCARB, and LEED associate. Though hailing from different countries, their talents brought them together at Arium.

Featured Projects

Showcased here are Arium’s designs for Columbia Association and Social Growth Technologies, Inc. The two projects encapsulate the growing presence of young professionals in the Maryland landscape, and the demands firms like Arium must rise up to meet. Columbia Association’s new office aimed to provide a functional space that allows for employees to stay happy and productive. To that end, Arium’s design emphasized natural light, collaborative spaces, and consistent branding. An example of such a collaborative space is the informal breakout spaces constructed for Columbia Association employees to hold casual discussions. For the less-established yet fast-growing Social Technologies, Inc., Arium’s design implements similar measures. The primary conference room was given a glass wall to provide that open feel, and bold splashes of color can be seen on some of the walls. The noise concerns that usually come with open office plans were solved by creating multi-person teaming offices, allowing for that needed focus. With their design, Arium provided the tech company a space in which to grow.

Arris, a Design Studio, Inc.

Architects:
Judith A.P. James, Alex J. Kramer, Jeff Taylor

Awards:
Mayor’s Recognition Award

Address:
111 Water Street #300, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Arris, a Design Studio, Inc.

The team at Arris, a Design Studio Inc. is led by three individuals who each possess three decades of experience in the industry. Judith A.P. James, LEED AP, and a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is the first principal officer and co-founder. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, her past work includes corporate office, healthcare, restaurant, and retail projects. Alongside her are principal officers, Alex J. Kramer, a fellow Maryland Institute College of Art graduate who serves as the master and strategic planning expert of the firm, and Jeff Taylor, the project manager, who received his B.S. in Interior Design from the University of Maryland. Arris has been named one of the most generous corporate givers by the Baltimore Business Journal more than once since its founding. The team has also received the Mayor’s Recognition Award for their development of the Baltimore community.

Featured Projects

Its work on RK&K is one of its most recognizable works. A 116,700 square foot workspace, this facility perfectly reflects RK&K’s work as a national civil engineering firm. With its identity woven through the building’s design and architecture, this project was given the 2018 NAIOP Award of Excellence for Best Interior Rehab. Another of its notable projects is its design for the video game company, Firaxis Games. Their headquarters are located in Sparks, MD and cover an area of 35,000 square feet. Arris, a Design Studio Inc.’s design of the workplace is colored in the company’s trademark orange and allows for several spaces for the video game developers to collaborate with each other, while still allowing for natural light to filter into the office. Further south in Owings Mills is the headquarters and showroom facility Arris designed for Douron. The green office space features a creative wall set-piece symbolizing the creativity of the furniture dealership. Besides its impressive aesthetic, the design was granted LEED Silver and won Arris a NAIOP Award for Best LEED Interior from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Brown Craig Turner Architects

Architects:
Bryce Turner

Awards:
Baltimore Business Journal 5th Top Interior Design Firm,
ULI WaveMaker Award

Address:
10 N. Charles Street, 18th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Brown Craig Turner Architects

Brown Craig Turner Architects was named the 5th top interior design firm in the city by the Baltimore Business Journal. Its interior design billings amounted to $3.1 million in 2016, accomplished by serving 25 clients. Besides interior design, the team at Brown Craig Turner Architects also provides architecture, master planning, and environmental graphics services. Bryce Turner, FAIA, is the president and CEO of BCT Architects. Registered in 20 different US states, Turner has directed the design of international projects. Turner is a former chair of the ULI and is also involved in many local nonprofits in the Baltimore area. Under his leadership, Brown Craig Turner Architects has created many award-winning designs, including those that have won the ULI’s WaveMaker award. Most recently, it won Baltimore Business Journal’s 2020 Best in Real Estate Renovations award.

Featured Projects

Brown Craig Turner Architects’ first featured project was done for Double Positive, an internet marketing company. A project that involved full-service architecture, interior design, and furniture, fixtures, and equipment work, its goal was to expand the space for meetings as well as for informal gatherings. The project covered 5,500 square feet and also managed to create additional work stations in the office. Also featured is Brown Craig Turner Architects’ work at 7000 Columbia Gateway Drive. The scope of the project was similar to that of the Double Positive project, but this time covered an area of 10,000 square feet. Where the Double Positive space is colorful and reflects trending business practices, 7000 Columbia is more austere and traditional, with a more utilitarian design.

CallisonRTKL

Architects:
Laura Indihar AIA
Helen Jeffery AIA, LEED AP, CCCA, CCS, CSI
Bill McCarthy AIA, ARCHITECT AIBC, NCARB, CCCA, CLSSGB, LEED AP
Peter Murr AIA, CDT, CSI

Awards:
AIA National Design Award
AIA Baltimore Design Award
AIA Maryland Design Award

Address:
901 South Bond Street, Baltimore, MD 21231

About CallisonRTKL

CallisonRTKL was established over seven decades ago. Now, it has evolved into a global architecture, planning and design firm known for its human-centric approach to architecture. As a cultural agency aiming to advance positive outcomes in local and global communities, it has gathered highly experienced architects including Laura Indihar AIA, Helen Jeffery AIA, LEED AP, CCCA, CCS, CSI, Bill McCarthy AIA, ARCHITECT AIBC, NCARB, CCCA, CLSSGB, LEED AP, and Peter Murr AIA, CDT, CSI—impressive designers who helped complete several well-known projects. Among these are the 33-acre Charles Center, the Church of the Redeemer, the Edward A. Garmatz United States Courthouse, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History & Culture. Such projects have earned the firm several honors including the AIA National Design Awards, AIA Baltimore Design Awards, and the AIA Maryland Design Awards.

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s most notable projects is its work for real estate firm JLL which desired a space that would showcase its global vision of an activity-based working environment inspired by the Baltimore region. With this idea in mind, the firm completed JLL’s Innovation Center which features an interactive touchscreen display, promoting a new level of client engagement and brand identity. The design also portrays a new face for the company—one that showcases JLL’s real estate services and capability for cutting edge technology, wellness principles, and great creation of trending workplaces. This is highlighted through the Baltimore street maps ingrained on the conference room fronts for privacy. Local headlines meanwhile adorn the ceiling in the community park. The entire space also has panoramic views of the Baltimore harbor.

CannonDesign

Architects:
Will Cannon, Sr.
Lee Coyle
Michael Glaros

Awards:
Interior Design Magazine Top 15 US Interior Firms,
Architect 50 No. 16 Top Design Firms,
Building Design + Construction Top 25 Office Design Firms

Address:
250 W Pratt Street #2100, Baltimore, MD 21201

About CannonDesign

Will Cannon, Sr. founded a one-man architecture shop in Niagara Falls, New York, a whole century ago. Today, CannonDesign works in 15 offices worldwide, made up of a talented team of architects, engineers, and builders with a services list that includes construction, interior design, lighting design, and sustainability services. CannonDesign has been named one of the Top 15 US Interior Firms by Interior Design Magazine and No. 16 of the Top Design Firms by the Architect 50. Fast Company considers CannonDesign as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Architecture Firms in the World while Building Design + Construction gave the firm a well-earned place on the list of Top 25 Office Design Firms. This is just a taste of the 500 design awards that CannonDesign has been recognized for within the past 15 years alone. The Baltimore branch is led by Lee Coyle, AIA, LEED AP, and Michael Glaros, AIA, LEED AP, both of whom have worked on the construction of the University of Maryland’s Cole Fieldhouse.

Featured Projects

CA Ventures first found success operating on student living environments. They wanted the design of their headquarters to reflect and leverage that student connection. CannonDesign attempted to capture the spirit of higher education while taking design notes from college campus environments. The effects of this decision can be seen down to the floor plan, which operates similarly to a campus plan. The workplace incorporates a biowall to emphasize its green functionality, and authentic materials like wood and exposed brick columns are reminiscent of student facilities. CannonDesign’s eye for aesthetic is also evident in its work on the Metropolitan Capital Bank engenders a feeling of stability in its clientele with lines reminiscent of Mondrian paintings. The firm was responsible for updating the aesthetic while also maintaining the integrity of this national landmark.

Design Collective

Architects:
Dennis Jankiewicz
Fred Marino

Awards:
AIA Maryland People’s Choice Award,
AIA Baltimore Grand Design Award,
ULI Award for Excellence

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

About Design Collective

With over 80 employees and 42 years’ worth of experience, Design Collective is a veteran providing architecture, planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and graphics services in Baltimore. Due to its collected experience, the firm has worked on projects for the education, research, residential, retail, civic, and commercial markets. So far, its portfolio exhibits projects created for clients which include Under Armour, Wells Fargo, Inc., the University of Maryland Baltimore, and the Cordish Companies. Currently, this firm is managed by president and CEO Fred Marino who is associated with the AIA like the majority of the firm’s leadership circle. Alongside its reputation as a multi-disciplinary and award-winning firm, it is recognized for providing scholarships to the diverse array of students looking to work for the industry.

Featured Projects

Design Collective’s work on Cushman & Wakefield’s offices in Charm City totaled $1.5 million for a one-floor commercial design project. The workplace covers an area of 18,200 square feet and implements what the real estate services firm calls an “activity-based workplace” solution. To achieve this, Design Collective created a more collaborative office space to contrast with Cushman & Wakefield’s older, more enclosed model. The team designers allowed the office to take advantage of harbor views and included private rooms for more focused work. Additions consisted of a library and Focus Rooms. Another notable project is the firm’s work for Johns Hopkins University where Design Collective fit out their Technology Ventures and FastForward Accelerator space, which aims to support the university’s entrepreneurial communities. The 37,000 square-foot location includes 17,000 square feet of start-up labs and an 8,000-square-foot hub for FastForward Accelerator, and a 12,000 square foot office space for Technology Ventures. With its unique design, this space earned the 2017 ENR Mid-Atlantic Award of Merit for Small Projects under $10 million.

Gensler

Architects:
James Wallace

Awards:
Greater Baltimore Area Top Five Interior Design Firms,
Top 50 Fortune 500 Companies

Address:
1 East Pratt Street, Suite 202, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Gensler

A firm that has 3,500 clients across the world, Gensler is known as one of the Top 50 Fortune 500 companies and is one of the top 10 technology companies in the United States. The Baltimore office’s managing director and principal is James Wallace, AIA and LEED AP who specializes in the design of high-security facilities, whether for a government agency or any other group with a need for security. The firm’s projects have been featured in publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, Urban Land, Curbed, and the New York Times. Its daunting list of recognition spans the last decade and includes accolades from Popular Science, Interior Design magazine, the AIA, Building Design + Construction, and the International Interior Design Association. With their body of work, Gensler is here to not only stay but flourish.

Featured Projects

While the firm has offered its services to big clients like About.com and Airbnb, designing the offices of the household brands, the local work done by its Baltimore branch is just as indicative of Gensler’s expertise. The T. Rowe Price Owings Mills Building in Baltimore does away with individual offices and creates central gathering zones to encourage collaboration. Standing stations, glass walls, and intricately arranged furniture make this a truly contemporary design. The use of T. Rowe’s brand color is consistent across the office. Gensler’s work for Johns Hopkins Medicine International follows suit with an open-room style workspace, including low partitions between cubicles and offices with full-glass walls. The design also adds in views of the water and sustainable design.

Hord Coplan Macht

Architects:
Ed Hord
Carol Macht

Awards:
Building Design & Construction 46th Top Green Architecture Firm

Address:
700 East Pratt St. Suite #1200, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Hord Coplan Macht

Founded by Ed Hord in 1977, Hord Coplan Macht is an architecture and design firm that approaches design problems with collaborative, multi-disciplinary solutions that are also sustainable. With this approach, the firm has participated in over a hundred LEED-certified projects that have a total of 4.8 million square footage. Thanks to this experience, it was included in Building Design + Construction’s list of Top Architecture Firms where it took the 19th rank. On top of that, the firm is also one of the founding members of Mindful Materials, a design initiative for transparency and optimization in the acquisition of building materials. In the four decades since Hord Coplan Macht’s founding, the firm has grown to employ 230 workers across offices in Baltimore, Denver, and DC. Among these employees is Lee Coplan, AIA and Carol Macht, a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA) who currently guide the firm with its endeavors.

Featured Projects

In Baltimore, Hord Coplan Macht completed the relocation and interior design of the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit. The project allows the hospital to increase staffing efficiency and the square footage of the unit. Additionally, new patient amenities were included in the construction, including a rehab gym, dining and common areas, and other elements that would help a patient adapt to going home. The patient rooms are ADA-compliant, and features like medicine cabinets and bathrooms are strategically located to maximize efficiency. Located 15 minutes away, west of Towson University, is the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt which required expansion and renovation. The space accommodates 11 new clinicians, additional waiting area space, and an expanded administrative support center. Hord Coplan Macht designed the new client-facing lobby to be more welcoming, with cool, blue and grey tones in the artwork and the furniture.

JP2 Architects

Address:
2811 Dillon St., Baltimore, MD 21224

About JP2 Architects

Providing master planning, architecture, interiors, and graphic design all come naturally to JP2 Architects. A 14-year old firm known for its dedication to exceptional customer service, it thrives on referrals and repeat clients. These include Aspen Institute Wye River, Combined Properties, and the Dolben Company.

Featured Projects

Among the projects the firm has worked on, its most notable one is its own headquarters in Dillon Street. An adaptive reuse of a former daycare, the new space has new energy-efficient systems and environmentally friendly materials including new LED lighting, roof-mounted Sola-tubes, and a new 1,400 square foot mezzanine that overlooks the open office below. Shortly after opening in 2016, this project was awarded with a LEED gold rating. With structures such as these in its portfolio, JP2 Architects has received awards such as USGBC’s 2018 and 2017 Maryland Wintergreen Award.

Rohrer Studio

Address:
611 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201

About Rohrer Studio

Founded in 1999, Rohrer Studio is an award-winning architecture firm best known for specializing in architecture and interior design. A great example of this firm’s 60 years’ worth of combined experience is the 1001 Cathedral.

Featured Projects

A tenant fit-out, this 15,500 square foot structure provides a lively new lobby, reception area, office and team rooms, conferencing break out spaces, kitchenettes, bathroom and support spaces. Despite a compact layout, it has an open design that highlights a large vertical opening where a new staircase was installed between the building’s three levels. This feature allows people to see floor to floor and allow for easy access to adjacent floors. Back in 2015, this project received the ASID Maryland Award and the Baltimore Heritage award since it was also a historic Mount Vernon building.
Projects like these are properly and successfully achieved not only due to the firm’s talented team, but also thanks to its principals Dianne J. Rohrer and James P. Suttner who have both been recognized with local, national, and international awards.

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