The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is a world renowned art school situated amidst the national historic neighborhood of Bolton Hill and the cultural district of Baltimore City. Hord Coplan Macht, along with Lazarus Design Associates, as the campus landscape architects for over ten years, had created many successful spaces, each uniquely suited to their immediate context, yet creating a sense of place through use of consistent design elements. MICA’s Mount Royal Station provided another opportunity to weave together the eclectic collection of buildings into a beautiful, cohesive campus.
Prior to the renovation, the site’s parking lot extended beneath the train shed, the “platform” was deteriorating concrete, and the original wrought iron decorative fence adjacent to the tracks was in disrepair. CSX maintenance vehicles regularly used the area to access the tracks, and would continue to do so.
As part of the renovation of this historic train station, MICA and the landscape architects envisioned a grand space near the new building entrance, on the site of the original train platform and still operating tracks. The simple, yet elegant plaza features campus standards for paving, lighting and site furniture in traditional patterns appropriate to the scale and grandeur of the Station, as well as benches made from granite slabs salvaged from the site of a new MICA building, another connecting thread to campus history.