The Assembly Building At Clipper Mill

Baltimore, MD United States

Cho Benn Holback + Associates


Project Description

2008 RADA

Adaptive Reuse / Grand

So many urban loft conversions all but obliterate the building's sense of history. This one celebrates it as a ruin, rough edges and all. Built circa 1890, this part of the historic mill complex had been slowly disintegrating when a fire burned the roof off, leaving only a masonry-and-steel shell. In an effort that David Benn, AIA, likens to putting a ship in a bottle, the design team inserted a ground-level concrete plinth that houses office space. Above are two floors of two-level loft units that align with the existing double-height arched windows. Light filters into the commercial core through pyramid skylights cut into a second-story open-air courtyard. Lit at night, they glow upward like jewels.

The architects opened another three-story light well that exposes a basement-level stream. “We cut an opening into the stream, so theoretically you could be sending a fishing line down,” Benn explains, “but it looks more like the sewers of Paris, with a cobbled bottom.” To make living there even more fun, a hike-and-bike greenway also runs through the renovated building.

The jury applauded the firm for preserving a sense of the original shell. “These buildings are being demolished so fast, and to keep this is great,” said one judge.


Project Details

The Assembly Building At Clipper Mill
Shared by:
Project Team:
    David Benn, Principal In Charge; Davin Hong, Robert Lyon, Project Architect.
  • General Contractor: Tim Pula 
  • Developer: Tim Pula 
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Room Or Space:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    62,794 sq ft
Construction Cost:

Specified Products

Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures:Crane Plumbing; Bathroom and Kitchen Cabinets: Masco Builder Cabinet Group (Merillat); Countertops:Wilsonart International; Dishwasher, Range: Electrolux Home Products (Frigidaire); Entry Doors:Bunting Door & Hardware Co.; Exterior Siding:CENTRIA Architectural Systems; Flooring (vinyl):Armstrong World Industries; Garbage Disposer:Whirlpool Corp.; Hardware:DORMA Architectural Hardware, Yale Residential Security Products; Hvac Equipment:A.O. Smith Corp., YORK; Skylights/Roof Windows:The Vistawall Group (Naturalite); Windows:Kawneer North America, MI Windows and Doors



Please read our Content Guidelines before posting.

Other Other Projects


Other South Atlantic Projects