Drawing: not a lost art for architects

ARCHITECTURE

July 07, 2008|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Sun architecture critic

Even in an age when most architectural design work is carried out on computers, many architects still draw by hand at least part of the time. As a precursor to the city's annual Artscape festival later this month, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation is presenting four exhibits on Sunday to display the range of work architects produce when they aren't sitting in front of a computer terminal. All four exhibits will be open that day within one block from each other in midtown.

"Architects have tended to stop sketching and drawing as much as they used to," said Jillian Storms, a member and past president of the architecture foundation. "The computer has given us an immense ability to see things before they are built. Part of the impetus for these exhibits is to show that drawing and sketching are skills that need to be kept alive."

The first exhibit will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the offices of Ziger/Snead Architects at 1006 Morton St. On display will be sketches and design studies by Charles Brickbauer, a design consultant to the firm and one of the most respected architects in Baltimore.

In a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Brickbauer has worked on such notable projects as the Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the former F&G Life Insurance Co. headquarters in Mount Washington (now headquarters of the DLA Piper law firm), the former Blue Cross Blue Shield building in Towson (now headquarters for Baltimore County's police department); the PNC tower and Sun Life buildings in Charles Center, and the 1979 expansion of the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The one-day exhibit will feature sketches that Brickbauer made while traveling in Italy, fanciful drawings of imaginary buildings and conceptual sketches for local projects. It's a rare chance to view drawings by this noted local architect.

A second one-day exhibit will feature Drawing Acquisitions of the Baltimore Architectural Foundation. It will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at SMG Architects, 1016 Morton St. Included will be architectural renderings, old books, drafting memorabilia and other works from local architects who are retired or deceased, as well as photographs of historic buildings in Baltimore, taken as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey program.

Two more exhibits, open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, will be in the gallery and bookstore operated by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects at 111/2 W. Chase St.

The exhibit is entitled Joie de Vivre: Capturing the Spirit of People & Place - The Paintings & Pastimes of New York Architect Kevin Campbell White.

White, a prolific artist who worked in Brooklyn, N.Y., documented the urban landscape around him, from quirky subway riders to colorful street scenes. A brother of Baltimore-based designer Stewart White, he died nearly a year ago at age 56. Joie de Vivre is an attempt to honor his legacy.

The exhibit in the AIA Bookstore is entited Architectural Quick Hand. It features the sketchbooks and paintings of a group of architects and artists who meet regularly to paint or draw Baltimore and its environs. Exhibitors include Craig Purcell, Ed Love, Stryker Sessions, Stewart White, Michael Murphy, J. John Clark and Jillian Storms.

The AIA exhibits opened last week and will be available for viewing until Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Sunday's events are free and open to the public. For more information, go to baltimorearchitecture.org.

Oldtown master plan

Baltimore's planning department and its consultants will spend several days this week formulating a strategy to guide redevelopment of Baltimore's Oldtown renewal area.

A public charrette, or intensive planning effort, will be held for three days at Fountain Baptist Church, 1215 E. Monument St. A public meeting to launch the planning effort will be held at 7 p.m tomorrow. An open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to give anyone a chance to observe the planning process while it's under way and talk to the designers. A wrap-up meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday. Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh is the lead architect for the planning effort.

More information is available from city planner Laurie Feinberg at 410-396-1275.

Fells Point demolition

H&S Bakery has applied for a permit to tear down a dilapidated warehouse at 623 S. Caroline St. in the Fells Point historic district. Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation is scheduled to consider the application during a public hearing at 3 p.m. tomorrow on the eighth floor of the Benton building at 417 E. Fayette St.

Castalia a landmark

On June 20, Mayor Sheila Dixon signed legislation naming Castalia, a residence at 200 Tuscany Road designed by the noted architect Laurence Hall Fowler, a city landmark. Her action ends a year-long effort by Baltimore Heritage, former owners James Harris and Cathy DeAngelis, and residents of the Tuscany Canterbury neighborhood to protect the property, constructed by former Calvert School headmaster Virgil Hillyer. Calvert School owns the building and plans to renovate it for academic use. The landmark listing means that any plans that would alter the exterior of the building must be reviewed and approved by Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation before the school can begin construction.

ed.gunts@baltsun.com

Online

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