PROJECT Cylburn Arboretum Nature Education Center
ARCHITECT Ziger|Snead Architects:Douglas Bothner, Ann Powell, Jeremy Chinnis, Ty Skeiky
GENERAL CONTRACTOR Lewis Contractors
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Intreegue Designs
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 1200 Architectural Engineers PLLC
CIVIL ENGINEER CityScape Engineering, LLC
MECHANICAL ENGINEER Engenium Group
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER Engenium Group - same as above
PHOTOGRAPHER/RENDERER Thomas Holdsworth
LOCATION Baltimore, Maryland, US
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 9/30/2022
Nestled in the oasis of the Cylburn Arboretum in the heart of Baltimore City, the new Nature Education Center advances the organization’s mission through stewardship, cultivation, and education. The historic Carriage House is restored and transformed into a beacon for the campus through a contemporary addition with a simple gabled form and exposed wood structure, evocative of a canopy of trees. The Center encourages exploration of both wild and cultivated aspects of nature. Integrated interactive exhibits encourage exploration of the hidden life of trees. Playful skylights and large expanses of glass behind a perforated metal screen connect to the site and views. Indoor and outdoor classrooms, a resource library, offices, restrooms, and storage support the function of the facility as the much-needed home to the stewards of this “hidden jewel” park.
The historic, two-story, masonry Carriage House was originally built in the 1870’s, and rebuilt around 1912 after a fire. It was designed by the renowned architect of the Baltimore City Hall, George Frederick, along with the estate's iconic Mansion. Baltimore City acquired the estate in the 1940's and founded as a preserve and ultimately city park. Cylburn Arboretum Friends is a volunteer group that supports the City in being stewards to the land. Stabilization and restoration of the historic structure include removing non-historic dependencies, interior stair, and fire escape; returning the porch to the original design; inserting new windows and overhead door; and restoring the exterior and interior historic features while respectfully integrating modern systems and support spaces.
The contemporary addition houses the exhibits and a variety of potential functions. The simple gabled form with exposed wood structure evokes a canopy of branches with large expanses of glass behind a perforated metal screen to connect to the site and views. The exterior weathered steel cladding complements the iron deposits in the locally quarried gneiss of the Carriage House. A secondary rear addition, with a greyed wood siding, provides new restrooms and storage to support the function of the facility.
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Cylburn Arboretum Nature Education Center
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