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Rash Field Redevelopment

Baltimore, MD
Snapshot

Mahan Rykiel was selected by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore to re-imagine Rash Field to be Baltimore’s destination location for a diversity of uses and users from across the demographic spectrum who are interested in health & wellness, arts & culture, local food, and urban nature. Planning for such uses involved a diligent public engagement process that necessitated numerous community stakeholder meetings and solicited input through a website, surveys and focus groups.

Based upon the input provided via the engagement process, a plan for Rash Field emerged that will transform Rash Field into a location for community members and tourists interested in play, health & wellness, urban nature, education and arts & culture.

Results:

Opened in November 2021, Rash Field’s visitations went from a pre Phase I redevelopment of 5-10 visitors/day max to a post construction high of 1500/day and surveys show that visitors come from all around the city, as well as regional visitors who happen upon the park.

Owner

Baltimore Waterfront Partnership 

Awards
  • AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Award Honorable Mention
  • 2020 MD ASLA Honor Award for Unbuilt Project.
Key Features

A PLACE TO CELEBRATE BALTIMORE, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS SPIRIT | With over 14 million visitors a year, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the city’s gateway to the national treasure of the Chesapeake Bay. Along the promenade you’ll find the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, restaurants and nationally significant heritage sites and neighborhoods.

Rash Field Festivals

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY | Rash Field is perfectly positioned to be the heart that pumps energy into the Inner Harbor. Instead of a family friendly environment that draws people throughout the city and region, studies pointed to challenges in access, micro-climate and limited park use.

Rash Field Studies

COMMUNITY LED | Planning for the Rash Field Redevelopment involved a diligent public engagement process that necessitated numerous community stakeholder meetings and solicited input through a website, surveys and focus groups. Visualizations of public input data was reported back to lead discussions on the future of the park.

Community Led

OPENING THE EDGES | Through an iterative process, the design team worked to blend salient points of the community feedback into the plan. Parallel to the integration of public input, the team strove to open the edges, create welcoming arrival points, celebrate water views, and design places for gathering, learning, and playing.

Park Edges and Arrivals

PROGRAMMING | Located in Baltimore’s core tourism district, the public engagement process presented an overwhelming desire for the park to serve as an amenity for Baltimore residents. Themes identified and incorporated into the design include: recreation & play, education & ecology, programming & entertainment and health & wellness.

Programming_RashField

ADVENTURE PLAY | Imaginative and interactive play spaces incorporate opportunities for children to learn about their surroundings and the environment. Various features like boulders, climbing mounts, slides, towers, and grass mounds offer children the opportunity to take calculated risks to stretch themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

NATURE PLAY | Nature inspired play structures that engage children in a setting that is both physically and mentally stimulating. Some of the features include water play, sand play, and various pathway surfaces, as well as balancing features for various skill levels.

THE SKATE PARK | Through the public input process, a concept for a skate park, designed by nationally recognized skate park design team, emerged. The skate park provides much needed dedicated space for the skate boarding community of all ages and abilities in the Inner Harbor and Downtown.

THE PAVILION | The pavilion is the focal point of the park with bustling activity emanating out into the surrounding park areas. The pavilion is programmed with a local eatery, rental and kiosk, public restrooms, and shaded outdoor seating overlooking the park activity and Inner Harbor. The pavilion’s central plaza provides shaded space for organized events and group exercise. The Pavilion’s overlook provides the opportunity for the perfect “Selfie.”

SUSTAINABILITY | Rash Field is a fully remediated brownfield site planted with 125 Mid-Atlantic native shade and ornamental trees. Over 70% of shrubs planted are Mid-Atlantic Natives and serve as habitat and pollinator sources for birds and pollinating insects. Over 90% of the ornamental grasses and perennials are Mid-Atlantic natives. Integrated storm water management offers educational opportunity as well as visual interest year round. Integrated storm water management solutions enhance the overall aesthetic of the park and offer educational opportunities. 

MULTI-GENERATIONAL | While keeping age appropriate activities defined within their own space, the park intentionally encourages multigenerational interactions and interests. A father and son watch a new friend do a trick at the skate park, a grandmother enjoys the partial shade of a bench watching children at play, a couple waves to their friends down on the big play mound and the wonderful skyline of the city rests in the backdrop.

Multi-generational Rash Field

INVITING BALTIMORE INTO RASH FIELD | Opened in November 2021, Rash Field’s visitations went from a pre Phase I redevelopment of 5-10 visitors/day max to a post construction high of 1500/day and surveys show that visitors come from all around the city, as well as regional visitors who happen upon the park.

Inviting Baltimore Into Rash Field

THE FUTURE: PHASE II

THE FUTURE: PHASE II LAWN & FITNESS AREAS | Exercise equipment hubs and workout zones will compliment a running loop, open lawn, and beach for maximized workouts. The lawn will host a multitude of health programming including flag football, youth league soccer or lacrosse games, free workout series, informal pick-up games, and adult league games while also serving as a flexible event space. (Currently undergoing public engagement for final design)

Future Lawn Fitness Rash Field

THE FUTURE: PHASE II CENTRAL BEACH | Designed to accommodate seven beach volleyball courts and act as an urban beach that can accommodate special events. Programmed to also accommodate other beach activities including badminton, beach bocce, running drills, and non sport related programming. (Currently undergoing public engagement for final design)