Reimagining McKeldin Plaza, Baltimore, Maryland
Speedlin, David Arthur
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This thesis focuses upon the redesign of McKeldin Plaza in Baltimore, MD. Situated beside the Inner Harbor and at the intersection of Pratt and Light Street, this occupies an important space in the city, functioning as a crossroads between several important urban landmarks. However, a reconfiguration of this plaza has become necessary due to the growth in traffic around the area, both automotive and pedestrian, as two 5-lane streets surrounding the plaza has left the site physically cut off from the Inner Harbor. Additionally, a beloved but under-functioning fountain awkwardly divides up the space, ultimately rendering the large plaza unused except the sidewalks at the edges. Through redesigning the street layout and traffic patterns, this thesis offers an alternative to the current scheme, one which offers a new connection to the Inner Harbor and an active, pedestrian-friendly space. In joining the plaza with the Harbor, a new urban nexus is created which seams together the upper and lower Inner Harbor. The redesign focuses on three key elements: a new fountain to pay homage to the old, bringing the harbor into the plaza, and creating spaces which are both accessible and inviting, yet astute in addressing functional and contextual needs. While maintaining some of the original qualities of the space, such as materiality and surrounding building footprints, this design also encompasses the addition of a new arcade in order to allow a greater flow between the interior, commercial and exterior, civic spaces.
- Masters Theses