A February 2012 market analysis study recommended expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center, leading city leaders to form a public/private partnership to investigate the feasibility of a multi-use development adjacent to the site. LMN was responsible for design planning on the convention center, as part of an architectural consortium engaged on the project.
Program and Site
The convention center is located on a key urban site, facing Baltimore’s prominent Pratt Street directly between the Inner Harbor and sports stadiums. The existing facility, designed by LMN, played a key role in the development of a thriving Inner Harbor district, and continues to function as a development catalyst—most recently adding a new convention headquarters hotel.
Program elements examined in the study include:
an expansion of the convention center which would double its current size, replacing the oldest portions of the original building;
a new arena containing at least 18,000 seats, replacing an outdated and undersized existing arena;
a new 500-room hotel, replacing a smaller existing hotel.
The expanded convention center would be a multi-level facility comprised of exhibition halls, meeting rooms and a large ballroom, contiguously connected above and below Sharp Street. The approach would increase the density on the site, with all three program components stacked and overlapped to maximize available site footprint. The result anticipates a much more active convention center district, interspersing meeting spaces with retail and pedestrian concourses along transparent street facades. Support services are located internally, maximizing the opportunity for pedestrian engagement along the perimeter.