Leake Residence Hall, MICA

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, but being landlocked in the historic Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, they have struggled to provide adequate housing for their students. The College reached out to us to design a new residence hall to combat this problem. It’s always a challenge designing buildings for college students because of their ever expanding and changing needs, not to mention the fact that residence halls need to be more attractive than ever to entice students to stay on campus. The project also had to be designed, built, and ready to open in 15 months.

The new building accommodates 200 students with dynamic common area spaces on the first floor, a black box theater, artist studios, multifunctional space, as well as a tiered lecture hall. Leake Hall is contextual to the Bolton Hill neighborhood while embracing a more modern aesthetic that is found in some of MICA’s newer campus buildings.


  • 242 beds
  • 88,000 sf student housing and artist studios
  • 105 seat lecture hall
  • 96 seat black box theater

To meet the tight schedule, HCM approached this project as if it was for a multifamily developer, employing market rate design solutions that better met the owner’s needs. Not only did Leake Hall open on time for the fall 2013 semester, but it did so well under the initial budget estimates.

The sustainably-designed building is certified under the Baltimore City Green Building Standard.

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