PROJECT 504 S Dallas
ARCHITECT EastWing Architects:Evan Wivell, Ole Johnson
GENERAL CONTRACTOR Guerilla Construction
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Adams Engineering LLC
PHOTOGRAPHER/RENDERER Derek & Vee
LOCATION Baltimore, Maryland, US
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 8/20/2022
We first became connected with the clients, an artist agent and a financial project manager, after being referred to do a small ground floor renovation. The motivation: their 100+ year old floor was sinking – fast – into a dirt crawlspace. The project quickly evolved from an emergency rehab to a brand-new contemporary home nestled inside a brick shell on a small alley street in Fells Point. All that remains of the original structure are the front and side masonry walls, all other elements were too compromised to preserve. New footings were poured to support a free-standing wood structure within the existing shell, extending towards and over the rear garden. Living spaces – kitchen, dining, office and entertainment – were elevated to a new third floor to capture views of Baltimore’s evolving downtown skyline. A roof terrace framed in a recontextualized early-19th century cast-iron railing looks over Dallas Street and beyond to Fells Point, Patterson Park, Locust Point and beyond. Bedrooms are nestled on the second floor, with the primary suite looking towards a lush, quiet courtyard garden. On the ground floor, a garage with dumbwaiter connects alley life to the expansive 3rd floor living space above and a guest suite offers access to the garden. A repurposed street art piece by local artists, ZIMZUM, greets visitors in the foyer and provides the necessary fire barrier between the space and the garage.
Dallas Street is itself a tapestry of Baltimore building types - small alley rowhomes and larger industrial buildings, adjacent to the historic Douglass Homes, built by Frederick Douglass for freed African Americans in the late 19th Century. The site is within both national and local historic districts, which influenced the form of the addition and the preservation of the original façade. The clerestory windows flood the upper floor living space with incredible daylighting, while also avoiding a power line that runs along the north property line.
Our clients proved to be ideal - energetic and passionate about their city, heavily involved in the local community and have since become close friends. They were determined to stay in Baltimore, and we committed to working with them to create a home that would allow them to thrive. Construction of this project rode the turbulent wave of the pandemic, feeling the brunt of surging material costs and delays. Through close collaboration with the General Contractor and trades, we were able to adapt, pivot and improvise as necessary to shepherd the project through construction without losing the soul of the original vision. The home epitomizes a contemporary Baltimore aesthetic – conventional materials used unconventionally and the thoughtful marriage of historic structures and bold, new forms – reimagining what it means to live in the city.
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504 S Dallas
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