MCB today announced the selection of Gensler to lead the design team reimagining Harborplace in Baltimore. Gensler is joined by Baltimore-based firms Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates, BCT Design Group, and Unknown Studio.
“At its best, Harborplace is the beating heart of Baltimore – convening communities to enjoy our City’s extraordinary waterfront. For decades, Harborplace has inspired wonder and excitement, attracting legions of tourists and admirers from around the world,” said P. David Bramble, Managing Partner of MCB. “With the property now in hand, we are thrilled to announce the design team who will work with MCB and hear from the community on what Harborplace can be. People like to count Baltimore out. This project will show what we, as a City, are capable of – and showcase the best of Baltimore for our own families, Marylanders across the State, and to the entire world.”
This world-class team will begin the design process this month, informed by the “First Thirty Days” community engagement report released by MCB earlier this week. MCB also announced the final closing of the multiyear receivership process to officially transfer ownership of the property. As of closing on June 21, 2023, MCB now fully controls the Harborplace property.
Gensler is the largest architecture, design, and planning firm in the world, but has a longstanding relationship with the City of Baltimore, with a downtown Baltimore office that will lead the project.
“Gensler is honored to be a part of the resurgence of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The waterfront is an incredible place that should be enjoyed by all, and we look forward to leading a team of world-class designers in bringing this great vision for Harborplace to life,” said Diane Hoskins, co-CEO of Gensler. “Working closely with David Bramble and MCB Real Estate, local and state government, and the public at large, we will celebrate the historic legacy of Harborplace and reimagine it for the benefit of generations to come.”
“Harborplace is Baltimore’s postcard image. It should visually capture what we are most proud of about our city and how we want to be known in the world – a place where all of our people can enjoy the iconic Inner Harbor and the first place we should all want to share with visitors to our City,” added Vaki Mawema, Managing Director and Principal of Gensler’s Baltimore office. “We want Harborplace to be uniquely and authentically ‘us.’”
“We are truly honored to have Gensler, Sulton Campbell Britt, BCT, and Unknown Studio bring their vision and creativity to this project,” said Mr. Bramble. “I want to ensure that the future of Harborplace represents to the world the very best that Baltimore has to offer. MCB intentionally created this design partnership to marry internationally renowned talent from Baltimore and from abroad because Harborplace should once again be a worldwide attraction.”
MCB Harborplace began a comprehensive citywide community engagement process in May of 2023, in anticipation of property closing. This community engagement process, led by Just Economy, has already engaged hundreds of residents in conversation about the future of Harborplace. The community engagement process will continue through the fall.
“I’m excited for the future of Harborplace,” said Turell Brooks, a community leader in the Historic Sharp Leadenhall neighborhood. “This project has the potential to bring a renewed sense of unity for the City of Baltimore. I am looking forward to seeing what it can mean for my community in Sharp Leadenhall. I’m sure this reconstruction can bring light to the historic elements of Sharp Leadenhall. With so much history and culture in our Community, this is a great opportunity to regain awareness and pride in the residents. Input from across the City is so important and I’m excited to see how much the MCB Team is engaging with communities across the City.”
For more information, and to review the Community Engagement Report on the First Thirty Days, please visit www.ourharborplace.com.
About The Team
MCB Real Estate LLC is an institutional investment management firm headquartered in Maryland. MCB boasts a diverse portfolio of operating assets totaling approximately 14 million sq. ft. of industrial, office, retail, mixed-use, and multi-family properties with almost 4 million sq. ft. in its development pipeline. www.mcbrealestate.com.
Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 53 locations and more than 7,000 professionals networked across the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Founded in 1965, the firm works globally with more than 4,000 clients across more than 33 practice areas spanning the work, lifestyle, community, and health sectors. Guided by its mission to create a better world through the power of design, and the source of its strength is its people and by leveraging its diversity of ideas, research and innovation, shared values, and One-Firm Firm culture, Gensler is working seamlessly as a borderless firm in 140 countries and making the greatest impact on its communities as its continues to tackle the world’s challenges.
Sulton Campbell Britt was founded as Sulton Campbell Architects in 1964 by John Dennis Sulton, FAIA, NOMA and Leroy Miller Campbell, AIA, NOMAC, in response to the growing demand for greater African American participation in the design profession in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The firm name changed to Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates, PC in 1999. The firm has always been actively involved in planning and urban design. The roots of this focus date back to the early 1960s when the founding principals of the firm spent their off-hours working with community groups in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. That concern for the quality of the human environment in urban settlements is a common thread throughout the firm’s practice. Our founders believed that only through the coordinated interaction of the physical, economic, social and behavioral sciences can a successful framework and architecture be created for the development of harmonious places in which to live, work, learn, worship and play. We continue to carry those beliefs and practices today.
BCT Design Group is a collaborative of award-winning design studios trusted by local and global clients to bring their projects to life. We hold fast to the simple premise that great design is ultimately about people.