The fun house

Baltimore's row houses are immediately recognizable by simple marble steps, plain brick or form-stone facades and hand-painted window screens. These characteristics (with some fun twists) make the row house folly amusing. Outlines of neon accentuate the form and animate the folly. In the category of New or Renovated Entertainment/Themed Centers, Baltimore-based RTKL Associates Inc. was awarded the 2001 SADI for its design work on the project.

Pinball Palace places visitors inside a larger than life pinball machine. Customers enter under giant, animated neon flippers. Overhead, a two-ft. pinball slides down a large spiraling track, dropping into a center sculpture of light and color. The detailed floor features a graphic full of lighting bolts, bulls-eyes and bold color. Pulsating colored lights create a constant show, escalating to a climactic finish as the pinball drops.

Bowl-a-Rama takes visitors back to the 1950's bowling pastime. Patrons enter on a scale replica of a bowling lane. Amidst the unmistakable sound of a ball hitting pins, an exploding pin sculpture dazzles overhead. Sidewalls feature stacks of life-sized bowling balls framed by 50's-era graphics.

The food court honors the B&O Railroad and Baltimore's roundhouse. Railroad tracks become a tile pattern in the floor. A three-dimensional train frames the space with each car displaying a tenant name. A main sign in the center court, reminiscent of train station reader boards, directs visitors to food vendors.

Category

New or Renovated Entertainment/Themed Centers

Award Recipient

RTKL Associates Inc.

Baltimore

D'Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects, Somerville, Mass. (associate architect); Whiting-Turner Contracting Inc., Baltimore (construction manager); National Survey & Engineering, Brookfield, Wis. (civil engineering consultant); John E. Harms Jr. & Associates Inc., Pasadena, Md. (civil engineer); McNamara/Salvia Inc., Boston (structural engineer); B & R Electrical Services Inc., Glen Burnie, Md. (electrical engineer); E&S Construction Engineers Inc., Pasadena, Md. (mechanical/plumbing); Schirmer Engineering Corp., Deerfield, Ill. (life safety consultant); The Lighting Practice, Philadelphia (lighting designer); Site Signatures, New Kensington, Penn. (landscape architect)

Client

The Mills Corp.

Arlington, Va.

Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: AIM — Architectural Image Manufacturers Inc., Atlanta; Scenic View Inc., Chicago; Studio Arts and Letters, Denver; Mystic Scenic Studios Inc., Dedham, Mass.; Lockwood Sign Group, Laurel, Md.; M&S Graphics, New Albany, Ohio; GableSigns & Graphics Inc., Baltimore; Mega Media Concepts Ltd., Springfield, Va.; Don Bell Industries Inc., Port Orange, Fla.; John Richards Co., Mira Loma, Calif.; Art Display, Washington; Benchmark Design Group, Morris Plains, N.J.; Chesapeake Contract Furnishings, Edgewater, Md.; Crenshaw Lighting, Floyd, Va.