This mixed-use project in Catonsville MD replaces an existing vacant two-and-a-half-story building. The new three-story building will include a ground floor retail space fronting Frederick Road, with two levels of commercial office above. The conceptual design approach is rooted in distilling the building’s context and amplify salient conventions. These traditional patterns, prevalent in the neighboring urban context, are evident across the project at all scales, from massing and glazing patterns to textures and materiality. The building's material palette is intentionally restrained, limited to two hues: light grey masonry and light bronze anodized aluminum. The light grey masonry intentionally reflects the stone found directly across the street The aluminum color recalls the precast detailing also found on these same stone buildings.
The building’s footprint reflects a fundamental aspect of the town's unique idiosyncrasies. Envisioned as a parallelogram, the exterior walls align to the street edge at the front/rear while the side walls bend to align with the property lines. The third floor recedes to compliment the setback at 910 Frederick Road. The setback reduces the three-story structures scale appropriately addressing the typical number of stories experienced at the street. This same push occurs again on the rear of the building to create a cantilever Under which is the entrance to the commercial office entry and lobby.
To emphasize the front/rear elevations, the fenestration is abundant while The side elevations are treated as party-wall conditions with punched windows. This strategy of differentiating front/back from side/side is typical contextually.
The retail entry slices back into the parallelogram to create a triangular recess. This operation is repeated consistently along Frederick Road, typically providing a space for refuge from the weather. In a playful nod to this condition, the second floor is also sliced back.