Project The John and Frances Angelos Law Center Location Baltimore, MD Client University of Baltimore Architecture Behnisch Architekten, Boston with Ayers/Saint/Gross, Baltimore Completion 2013
We prefer landmark orientation to road sign principles. Behnisch Architekten tried their best to create a 12-storey high atrium as complex as possible (some might call it confusing, but hey, nobody promised life would be easy). This gave us a perfect forward pass for a color-flooded landmark design.
Marking relevant areas of interest with bold colors visible from the entrance and throughout the atrium didn't only generate a simple principle for orientation, but even more important, it gave the building its very distinctive interior atmosphere.
Easy handling for keeping building directories up to date helps to prevent clients from printing out new information on a sheet of paper and tape it close to some nicely designed directory on the walls. With the mighty help of magnets our directory board design allows to remove single strips for either funny re-arrangement through students or rather not-so-funny-but-necessary amendment through facility managers. You can take it for granted that the typography we chose is fully compliant with ADA requirements.
Donors in the US are used to find their names on walls within the buildings they spent their money for. Often close to the entrance, easy to find and easy to read, usually highlighting a hierarchy clearly separating big donations from smaller amounts.
We did it differently in Baltimore. The donor names are placed around a central column, spanning 6 levels through the atrium in the middle of the building. Of course one could read a differentiation due to the three letter sizes we used, but it appears rather playful than discriminating. A variety of stairs connecting the different levels swirls around the column and allows readability without showing off everything at first sight. Special areas like the exterior waterfeature are highlighted and assigned to donors by the use of the same corian letters which connects these areas with the central column.