Charm City: Home of the Baltimore Orioles, Under Armour, and fresh-caught, Old Bay-laden seafood creations.
Similar to Kansas City, Baltimore, Md. boasts a rich industrial history with strong ties to agriculture, manufacturing, rail, and freight. Both cities were greatly impacted by the conclusion of World War II, causing an abrupt drop off in production and manufacturing and leaving a swath of red brick buildings in its wake.
Since then, architects and designers like us have been granted an extraordinary opportunity to breathe fresh, modern life into these historic, turn-of-the-century spaces along the water. The gritty, working-class town of Baltimore has reinvented itself as a true hub of American business — one with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, a surging economy, and a vision for progress amidst steady growth.
Rise of the Creative Class
The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland gained nearly 13,000 jobs in January, including large growth in the construction industry. The trade, transportation, and utility sector employs nearly 67,000 people in Baltimore County and is the largest industry cluster in the county, according to 2017 economic development statistics. And construction employs more than 23,000 people and is the fifth-largest industry cluster.
A large portion of this growth can be attributed to the new creative class, which gravitates toward areas with high quality of life, affordable rent, and access to educational opportunities. The greater Baltimore area is home to 13 public and private universities and is just a short drive to major cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., positioning Baltimore as a nerve center for entrepreneurs and startups.
Clockwork is built upon a foundation of working with emerging clients in emerging markets. It’s no wonder we moved our office to Maryland’s largest city. It was important to us as Baltimoreans to present ourselves and our brand to the public and feel the heartbeat of the city on a daily basis.
Nimble and Unconventional
Our new office is comfortably nestled in the historic Fells Point neighborhood, nationally recognized for its cobblestone streets, iconic harbor views, and preserved row house facades. The space is receptive, designed to aesthetically encourage collaboration as a showroom and event space within the reflection of our brand identity. Baltimore was a natural next step for us, allowing us to further integrate the emotional connection between our own brand into the space we work in every day. With so much opportunity on the horizon, I’m excited to be a part of this growth.
I’ve had the honor of working with organizations of all sizes since our move East, and each of our clients entrusts us with their projects because of our ability be nimble and unconventional. This cutting-edge approach drives our clients past just architecture and interiors. It’s who we are as a design and branding firm, and it's manifested in each of our recent projects.
When we were contacted by Turner Development and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore to design an office space that reflected their vision, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with an organization whose mission supports the successes of regional industry, innovation startups, and the entrepreneurial spirit. The organization’s new space — an old grain silo downtown — features concrete walls and cutting-edge materials unlike any other office space in the city, reflecting the world-class nature of Baltimore.
A Broader Reach
Just south of Baltimore in Maryland’s state capital of Annapolis, our office also assisted Bozzuto with a master plan for a single-family development project that includes the Compass Road Theater, a local non-profit that unites the community through classes, workshops, and the power of storytelling.
Last fall, we had the privilege of reimagining a 15,000 square-foot outpatient clinic for Children’s National Health System. In a region that hosts one the nation’s largest medical communities, it’s exciting to be a part of the patient-centric design movement. This bright, one-of-a-kind space was far from the clinical model of years past, giving prominence to peaceful and personal structure and design.
Our work with Children’s National continues this year as we renovate the historic Takoma Theatre in Maryland to install offices and 40 exam rooms to provide services for behavioral medicine, autism, hearing and speech, and developmental medicine. The space will also feature 863 square feet of ground-floor retail.
The Renaissance of Baltimore
Baltimore tourism reported five years ago that the professional, scientific, and technical services industry (PST) in Baltimore ranked among the top five major U.S. markets for PST employment growth and was responsible for the highest number of job openings in the state.
In a city filled to the brim with enterprise, ambition and “charm,” being in this market is a no-brainer. It’s a thrill to bring spaces to life and help these businesses grow and thrive. We’re committed to continuing our cutting-edge approach to architecture and design, and we’re proud to be part of the fabric of Baltimore’s thriving business community.