Morgan Graduate student Jonathan Midgett (M.Arch. ’16, expected) won the top student prize for AIA Baltimore’s annual photography context, announced last Tuesday at an evening event held to celebrate the photography of Baltimore’s built environment. Jonthan’s photograph “Snow Alley” was submitted under the category “Entryways: The Big Picture,” and was captioned as follows:
This shot shows an entryway not really appreciated by many who are not necessarily familiar with Baltimore City. Baltimore is full of these alleyways, some of which continue all the way to the harbor. [The city’s] alleys … show Baltimore’s variance in urban hierarchy, density, and architecture.
As it happened, the category’s first prize for entries from general public was won also by a Morgan representative: Associate Professor Jeremy Kargon. His submission, titled “Entry… Not” was captioned with this explanation:
Modern architecture often prizes contrast over conformity, conflict over repose. In many buildings, this preference is embodied by a visual trope, such as the prominent display of human movement by use of an architectural element which is, ironically, apparently inaccessible.
Baltimore’s Mattin Center, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, employs many such tropes. The building is finely crafted from attractive materials – brick masonry, glass, and metal – yet one is too often frustrated by a physical barrier, a false axis, or a visual dead-end. Was this the architects’ intended message for the Hopkins community? Either way, this photograph expresses well the dilemma: Is this an entrance, or not?
The winners’ photographs, along with other entries, will be featured in AIA Baltimore’s 2015 calendar.