Revised Design Unveiled For SNF Agora Institute Building at Johns Hopkins

Modified plans bolster connectivity, both within the building and to nearby spaces on the Homewood campus and within the community

Revised design plans for the future home of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University will enhance the building’s navigability and connectivity—both to the Homewood campus of which it is a part, and to the nearby community in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood—while embodying the institute’s commitment to inclusivity and openness to the broader world outside.

Modified plans for the building—designed by the world-renowned architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop with architect of record Ayers Saint Gross, and scheduled to be presented to the Baltimore City Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel on Thursday—preserve the two floating glass cubes that were part of the initial design unveiled in September 2019, but with a twist. The area of the building that will be open to the community—which includes a café and spaces for public gatherings, art exhibitions, and more—has been rotated so that it now faces both the campus and the community.

The building’s other cube will support the SNF Agora Institute’s scholarly work, housing faculty offices, labs, classrooms, meeting and seminar rooms, and open work spaces. Both cubes have been reduced in height in the revised plan, from five floors above ground to four, to make the space easier to navigate and to increase proximity among the building’s occupants.

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