Ayers Saint Gross
Adam Gross is a principal of Ayers Saint Gross with more than 40 years of experience in planning and architectural design. He provides the broad design direction for the firm and works in close collaboration with many of the firm’s long-standing clients.
Gross moved from Boston to Baltimore in 1984 to join what was then called Ayers Saint, when the architectural firm consisted of eight people. The firm now has grown to 155 people across three offices in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, Ariz. Now an interdisciplinary design firm, Ayers Saint Gross professionals include architects, landscape architects, graphic designers, planners and statisticians.
Gross and his fellow senior partners represent the fourth generation of the company, which has been in practice since 1912. About one year ago, the firm became an employee-owned company and now is very focused on the ownership transition to the next generation of leadership.
“One fundamental thing about our firm is that we’ve always tried to maintain the highest design rigor that one might find in a smaller academic firm, combined with the business practices of a larger firm,” Gross said.
Part of the firm’s success, he said, has been its ability to focus on what its staff are passionate about and concentrate primarily on that aspect of design. This has led to a commitment to serving institutions that are dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge and culture, particularly colleges, universities, museums, and other mission driven organizations.
Ayers Saint Gross has begun designing several “innovation neighborhoods” or “innovation districts” with Wexford Science and Technology. These are typically several million square foot mixed use communities at the edge of campuses that combine research space with housing, hospitality, retail and other uses.
The company recently worked with Baltimore’s Waterfront Partnership, The Greater Baltimore Committee, and Baltimore City to create the master plan for the Inner Harbor. Other local projects include the redesign of Pratt Street and McKeldin Plaza, the new Skip Viragh Cancer Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Ed St. John Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Maryland, and a new housing tower for Beatty Development. Nationally, the firm is working with Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, The Smithsonian Institutions, and Georgetown University.
Gross also has written and lectured extensively on urban design, collegiate architecture and master planning. He also has taught at several architectural schools, most recently as the Fay Jones Chair in Architecture at the University of Arkansas and the Kea Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Maryland.