Architectural team led by Canadian firm to design UM medical building


One of the most-coveted architectural commissions in Baltimore this year has gone to a group headed by the Zeidler Roberts Partnership of Toronto.

The University of Maryland Medical System reviewed proposals from 25 design teams before selecting the Canadian-led group to design an $83 million, 149-bed clinical tower for the northwest corner of Lombard and Greene streets -- the largest single component of a $210 million capital improvement program that the medical center plans to carry out during the 1990s.

Other members of the winning team include Edmunds & Hyde Inc. of Baltimore and Annapolis Associated Architects, a 2-year-old firm headed by Ray Moldenhauer. Henry Adams Inc. will be the mechanical and electrical engineer. Four minority-owned Maryland firms also will have key roles: Qodesh Engineering Services Inc.; Earth Engineering Services; Alex Dixon Inc.; and Design Innerphase.

They beat a number of competitors, including a joint venture of RTKL Associates and Peterson and Brickbauer; the team of Columbia Design Collective and Payette Associates; and groups that included Robert Venturi, David Childs and I. M. Pei.

The nine-story building will house the University of Maryland Cancer Center, a neuroscience center, facilities for radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and surgical intensive care, an ambulatory surgery center, and clinical teaching space.

The structure will be named the Homer Gudelsky Inpatient Building in memory of a patient whose family foundation donated $5 million for the project. Construction will begin in the spring of 1992 and be completed by the end of 1994. It will be the second major Baltimore building for Zeidler Roberts, which also designed the Gallery at Harborplace at Pratt and Calvert streets.

The decision is a coup for Edmunds & Hyde, the successor to the firm that designed the University of Maryland Hospital building in the 1930s and the north hospital building, which was completed in 1973.

Edmunds & Hyde Executive Vice President Jack Turner was responsible for bringing in Zeidler Roberts and assembling the rest of the winning team, just as Baltimore architects James Grieves and David Wright brought in London architect Richard Rogers to team with them and win the commission for the $200 million Christopher Columbus Center for Marine Research and Exploration on Piers 5 and 6.

Some contenders, including the joint venture of RTKL Associates and Peterson and Brickbauer, had stressed that the medical center could satisfy its design goals and help the local economy at the same time by hiring a local lead architect.

"We had a 100 percent Maryland team, and we have a proven record of design," RTKL Chairman Harold Adams said after the selection was announced Monday. "It's a great disappointment."

The board unanimously picked the Zeidler Roberts team based on its expertise in designing medical facilities, design creativity and solid track record, said John Ashworth, vice president of planning, marketing and program development for the medical system. "We're concerned about the economy," he said. "But we're also concerned with what the building will look like in 15 years."

Even though Zeidler Roberts isn't local, 70 percent of the architectural and engineering work will be handled by Maryland firms, Mr. Ashworth added.

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