Reclaiming the Annapolis Waterfront: Towards an Architecture of Place

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Title of Thesis: RECLAIMING THE ANNAPOLIS WATERFRONT: Towards an Architecture of Place

Name of Degree Candidate: Ryan D. Kautz

Degree and Year: Master of Architecture, 2003

Thesis Directed by: Thomas L. Schumacher, FAAR, Professor

Annapolis, Maryland is one of the nation's most important historic cities, and the character of its historic core remains much as it did over two hundred years ago. Despite this fact, the most unique amenity that Annapolis offers has suffered from the effects of the automobile and poor planning. The Annapolis waterfront has been developed over the past fifty years as a series of poorly designed buildings and parking lots that take little advantage of their location adjacent to the water. For a city known as "America's Sailing Capital," the Annapolis waterfront does not live up to expectations.

This thesis proposes to entirely redesign the Annapolis waterfront. A new Visitors Center will be a focal point in the City Dock area, providing a center for information, education, and entertainment. The new waterfront will also incorporate a hotel, retail, restaurants, offices, residential, and parking facilities, as well as landscaped parks and plazas.

The challenge of this thesis is to explore how contemporary architecture can blend effortlessly into a vernacular context of fifty, one hundred, and two hundred year old buildings. The true measure of success in this endeavor is not in creating buildings that stand out as objects, but rather in creating modern buildings that seem to be as much a part of the background fabric as the historical context.