Topping off retail center that was cannery


A triangular parcel near Baltimore's Canton waterfront will be the setting for one of the first high-profile building projects to get under way locally this year - an addition to the Can Company shopping and office center.

Ziger/Snead Architects of Baltimore has designed a 9,500-square-foot retail center that will rise in the 2400 block of Boston St. It will occupy the last vacant development site on the old American Can Co. property, a former cannery that Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse has converted to 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The Boston Street structure will be the only example of all-new construction within the Can Company development, which has been created by recycling buildings constructed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The building's soaring roofline was intended to draw attention from passers-by, and its corrugated metal skin represents a continuation of the use of metal on canopies and roofs on the former cannery buildings.

"We wanted to make a strong gesture on Boston Street," said architect Steve Ziger, principal in charge of the project. "We wanted it to have a sculptural presence."

Jeff Morgan is the project architect for Ziger/Snead. Struever Bros. is the contractor. Alex Castro of Castro Arts collaborated on the conceptual design. Construction is expected to begin early this year and be finished in time for tenants to move in this fall. The building will have room for up to five merchants.

"Best practices in transit oriented development" will be the focus of a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Baltimore's planning department, 417 E. Fayette St.

The presentation is part of a series of urban design lectures sponsored by the Baltimore chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the planning department.

Panelists will include Gregory Baldwin, a partner of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca in Portland, Ore.; G.B. Arrington of Parsons Brinkerhoff Placemaking; and Maria Zimmerman, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

Their presentations will focus on land-use policies, community development and consensus building related to planning along corridors served by mass transit. Tickets are $10 for AIA members and $15 for others.

Oral blueprints

Husband-and-wife architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, designers of the Mattin Center at the Johns Hopkins University, and architect Rafael Vinoly, a finalist in the competition to design a master plan for Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, will discuss their recent work in lectures this week at the National Building Museum, 401 F. St. N.W. in Washington.

Williams and Tsien will appear at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. Their presentation complements the exhibition Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete, which they designed. The display, according to the museum's Web site, examines contemporary projects, products and technologies that demonstrate the versatility of concrete. Tickets are $12 for museum members, $17 for nonmembers, $10 for students.

Vinoly's lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It coincides with the opening of an exhibit titled OPEN: New Designs for Public Space. Tickets for Vinoly's talk are $15 for museum members, $25 for nonmembers, $10 for students.

Prepaid registration is required for both lectures. Call 202-272-2448.

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