9 East Mount Royal is a new 7-story, 64-unit apartment building located within the Mount Vernon Historic District of Baltimore City and directly adjacent to the University of Baltimore campus. In a location with so much architectural history and an academic eye to the future, the building was conceived to be a neighborhood bridge between historic and contemporary design.
The design team sought a creative solution that was compatible with the character of the district and acknowledged the presence of contemporary structures nearby. The resulting design is decidedly contemporary but respects the historic context and characteristics of the district. The principal façade is composed with an articulated base, middle and set-back cap, compatible in proportion and scale with nearby historic structures. The distinctive feature of the exterior is the use of dark gray terracotta cladding that contrasts the tall glass and white metal panel building corners. This contrast defines a vertical volume running up and over the façade, giving the building a taller, more slender appearance. The glass corners tie the street façade together with the more modest side and rear elevations that face three narrow public alleys. These secondary elevations consist of exposed smooth-finished concrete at the two garage levels and white textured metal panels at the upper residential levels, providing appropriate dimension and scale. The distinct dark gray and white palette used on the exterior is carried throughout the building interiors.
The building consists of five residential levels of wood-frame construction, above two parking levels of poured-in-place concrete. The tall street level lobby is filled with ambient northern light from large windows that establish a clear visual connection with street and sidewalk activity. The 1- and 2-bedroom apartment units were designed to exemplify urban living by maximizing openness and natural light while incorporating the flexibility of a studio apartment. Tenant amenity spaces are given high priority on the top level with indoor and outdoor gathering spaces offering impressive views of Baltimore and the vegetated roof surrounding the top floor.
The project was completed by Waldon Studio Architects, now Michae Graves Architecture.