“Besides addressing Under Armour’s space need, Building 37 provides valuable lessons in ways to recycle big-box stores that are sitting vacant all around the country…”
- Ed Gunts, The Architect's Newspaper
Marking the first phase of the long-term master plan for Baltimore’s Port Covington, Under Armour’s Building 37 is a recycled Sam’s Club converted into a state-of-the art workspace. With capacity for 600 employees, amenities include a fitness center, 350-seat auditorium, coffee shop and café, conferencing spaces, advanced teleconferencing capability, and an extraordinary array of gathering places for impromptu collaboration.
The abandoned big-box building, with its industrial-height interior, may have seemed like an unlikely candidate for such a conversion. Sited on the Port Covington Peninsula, the building turned its back to sweeping views of the Patapsco River. Early in the process, the architects made a series of design moves to redefine the building for its new use, reorganizing the layout of the space to take advantage of its waterfront location and finding opportunities to bring in more natural light through strategic window placement. Within the lofty warehouse, a partial second level was inserted, creating a substantial increase in floor area. The upper level creates a variety of spatial scales for office, dining, athletic and collaboration functions. Several tall concourses interconnect with large, window punctuated gathering areas, offering opportunities for collaboration and expansive harbor views.
The project was extraordinarily economical in terms of cost and construction duration. Detailed with modest materials it creates an iconic representation of Under Armour’s spirit and brand. Supergraphics, bold color, over-scaled windows and interconnected public space energize the spirit of place and reinforce Under Armour’s core principles of teamwork, sportsmanlike competition, and innovation.