Architects vie with sand designs

JUST A DAY AT THE BEACH ALMOST

June 27, 1993|By Ed Heard and Katherine Ramirez | Ed Heard and Katherine Ramirez,Staff Writers

It started with just sand and water. It ended with wacky and creative sand structures.

The fifth annual CitySand sand-sculpturing competition at Harborplace's Amphitheatre yesterday attracted hundreds of people who cheered the creativity of some of Baltimore's finest architects.

The theme, "Baltimore: An All-Star City," was not surprising given that the city will host Major League Baseball's all-stars on July 13. For four hours, from noon to 4 p.m., architects from various city firms equipped themselves with spatulas and buckets to slap 100-cubic-foot sand patties into form.

CitySand '93 was organized by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, the American Institute of Architects, Harborplace and The Gallery.

"I think it's really great," said Trent Nehls, a tourist from Cincinnati who was visiting Baltimore for his first time. "This city seems like it's lots of fun during the summer."

Mr. Nehls was praising the work of RTKL Associates Inc., which won top honors over the six other architectural firms that competed. The RTKL group also was given awards in the "Most Memorable" and "Most Creative" categories.

MA RTKL's sculpture showed a giant replica of the Orioles mascot

sitting atop Camden Yards. As he rested his feet on the edge of the stadium, he lay back in his sunglasses and dawdled away his day in the sunshine.

Probst-Mason Inc. was recognized for having best interpreted the event's theme. The group created a structure depicting Fort McHenry controlled by the Ameri

can League. Under it, there was a sinking National League clipper ship being sunk by baseballs launched from the fort.

Baseball fans also were dazzled with a life-size baseball card of Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr., a creation of Ayers/Saint/Gross Inc.

Catherine Mahan and Associates won "The Most Fun to Destroy Award" for its creation of a 4 1/2 -foot tall castle and star, a temptation for any mischievous youth.

All seven sculptures were on display at the Inner Harbor all day yesterday, but from noon to 2 p.m. today, children 4 to 12 years old will be allowed to demolish them and shape their own -- with the professional architects' guidance.

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