Our Chesapeake Bay Chapter plans a charrette to review the revitalization and resiliency efforts of Annapolis City Dock

In April 2019 the board of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects formed a committee to evaluate the potential of holding a Chapter wide charrette to address our involvement in the Annapolis City Dock revitalization and resiliency efforts. This committee has evaluated potential sites, formats, and scheduling for this charrette and we are now at a point where we are trying to determine whether there would be sufficient participation from you, the Chapter members, to make this happen.

The committee has chosen to use the east end of the City of Annapolis Dock Area as the site/subject for the charrette projects, with an emphasis on the historic Burtis House and Susan Campbell Park (click here for diagram). This area is currently under study for future development with identified goals of improving the visual appeal; sustainability; resistance to flooding; preservation of the historic structures; historic and cultural interpretation; accessibility; altering the focus from vehicular to pedestrian access; and improving public access to the water.

The intention of the charrette targets four goals: 1) to demonstrate the unique role of our profession in being able to develop conceptual designs and urban planning solutions that resolve the complex developmental concerns for a site such as this; 2) to infuse these ideas into the discussion that alters the trajectory of the implemented design for the positive; 3) to make the case for including Chapter involvement in this and future civic planning efforts; 4) and, as a team building exercise for the Chapter and for the competing groups that allows an opportunity to flex our communal creative muscles for the social good.

While it might be argued that the chosen site is of narrow geographical interest, the factors pertinent to this site are shared across our Chapter such that we hope to involve members from the Chapter’s entire geographical region. With that in mind, we are tentatively considering a format where the project will be introduced during a short kick off meeting, followed by a three-week design period. We are hoping to be able to live stream the kick-off meeting to teams that are working remotely. We are certainly open to other suggestions on this format.

The tentative schedule for the start of the charrette will be early August, with completion by the end of August. We are hoping to have multiple teams, but understand that there may only be enough participation to produce a single team. The plan is to present the resultant designs at a public meeting as well as have newspapers in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore run articles about the event.

Please let us know if you would be interested in participating individually or as a team, by emailing aiachesapeakebay@gmail.com. While we anticipate minimal expenditures for the charrette, we would greatly appreciate any offers of sponsorship from corporate and allied members. Thank you.

Matthew J. Ormsby, AIA
AIA Chesapeake Bay President