Client, Year

Monument Realty, 2018

Services

Placemaking
Murals & Supergraphics
Illustration

Awards / Press

Photography

225 North Calvert Street

A clever disguise in plain sight

This 19-story, former banking center behemoth was ready to enjoy a second act as upscale city apartments. Just one hitch: an unsightly concrete parking garage spanned floors two through six. Ashton worked with Monument Realty to transform it from an eyesore into a striking billboard celebrating Baltimore living. Better yet, the illustration style camouflaged crucial vents that allowed for natural garage airflow.

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The rest of the massive building had been updated with a more attractive, colorful facade. Still, the development team struggled with how to handle the garage. While a lovely resident amenity, it was a major distraction at street level, as it covered an area roughly 50 feet tall by 300 feet wide.

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Our challenge was to complement the building’s new design, conceal the garage, and eliminate the need for a mechanical ventilation system—all while appealing to young professionals seeking a modern place to call home.

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Taking cues from Baltimore’s tradition of “painted scenes,” or folk art painted on window screens, we created a mural depicting city life and landmarks on a woven vinyl mesh. Now, residents are reminded why they love living here, rather than distracted by the realities of urban planning.

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