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1412 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20005
United States

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 to bring their design sensitivities to institutional and cultural projects in urban locations. The 25-architect firm has since established an expertise in three main architectural areas – the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures, institutional buildings in urban areas and community settings, and the design and planning of performing arts venues.

Known for a thoughtful design approach to public facilities, M+J develops an intimate understanding of the needs of users, patrons, and operators destined to inhabit the projects of the firm. M+J looks to the future in their design aesthetic even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past and executes creative solutions to facilities both new and historic, where flexibility, ease of operation, and high but versatile performance characteristics are requisite. Venues express aspirational values and goals of the communities within which they are located, and at the same time conform to issues of economic value at the highest levels of environmental sustainability.

St Mary's College of Maryland Amphitheatre

 

St Mary's College of Maryland Amphitheatre

St Mary's City, Maryland


St Mary’s College of Maryland approached M+J with a unique problem of wishing to create a significant public space that functions as a major campus node for the academic year but can be easily transformed into a festival space for an increasing number of summer events and occasional college activities. Through a Preliminary Design process, M+J looked at solutions that would meet budgetary, programmatic, and contextual concerns.

 

Opportunity

It is the intent that the amphitheater itself becomes a permanent ‘sculpture’ that anchors the space and enhances existing buildings and movement and service patterns but can be made into a grander, higher performing stage for the summer or even isolated events. Additionally, the scheme is inherently environmental. It responds to the context in complementary ways but is able to transcend that context and convert the entire site and its edges from an academic atmosphere to an event venue and then back again.

 

Creation

Ultimately a coliseum-style amphitheatre was presented to the community, as a means of addressing all of their desires. The open space suggested by new and proposed College buildings was organized and designed to resolve formal and informal paths and views creating a memorable central space for the entire college. The space will still house a stage for concerts, campus activities and student functions in a state-of-the-art pavilion that bridges the space and the arts buildings. An area in front of the stage for a supporting orchestra will be required to support opera and musical productions and trucks for stage support equipment and instruments loading and unloading will need access to the stage areas. The adjacent site areas will be developed to provide for utility support of the food vendor venues at the Summer River Concert Series as well as pedestrian access from the amphitheatre to these areas. When the amphitheatre is not in use, it is desired that views of the river from the site will be maintained.


Owner: st mary's college of maryland c/o Dan Branigan

Study Completion: 2009

Size: 90,000SF

Cost: est $2M

 
 
THIS DESIGN SOLVES THE UNIQUE PROBLEM OF NEEDING A SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC SPACE THAT FUNCTIONS AS A MAJOR CAMPUS NODE FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR BUT CAN BE EASILY TRANSFORMED INTO A FESTIVAL SPACE FOR SUMMER EVENTS AND OCCASIONAL COLLEGE ACTIVITIES.
 
 
 

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