Under Armour has unveiled plans for the next phase of its global headquarters, which is slated to include a five-story, 280,000-square-foot building known as Teammate Building 2, as well as outdoor furniture and fixtures.
The building, which will be the center point of Under Armour’s global operations, will include office space in its upper levels, while the ground floor will contain a large retail store and a performance space, featuring gyms, showers, locker rooms and other exercise facilities, both for the company’s employees and athletes to use, as well as for the company to test products.
This phase of construction will also feature a basketball court located between Teammate Building 2 and the neighboring Building 37, as well as landscaping work intended to give visitors and employees space to socialize and relax.
Teammate Building 2 will be the northernmost building on Under Armour’s campus and the closest building to the wider Port Covington neighborhood, in which the campus is located. The teams at Under Armour and Gensler, the design firm behind the project, hope that the building’s unique facade, which will be made of a lightweight and durable polymer called ETFE, and pedestrian pathways leading from Port Covington will draw visitors in.
Although members of Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel lauded the overall design of the building, they questioned whether it would truly invite visitors in as effectively as it was intended to. Pavlina Ilieva, the panel’s chair, felt that the parking area and driveway that sits in front of the building looks “banal” and could “undermine” the unique appearance of the building.
A fellow panel member, Sharon Bradley, suggested that the area in front of the campus would benefit from some element that would draw in visitors approaching from all sides of the campus.
“I’m not talking a cheesy portal of some sort, but just an arrival element that is on the same scale as the rest of the gestures on the campus, that says, ‘You have come somewhere special,’ ” she said.
In addition to crafting an effective gateway between the Under Armour campus and the rest of Port Covington, the company is also aiming to make the building one of the most sustainable in the greater Baltimore region.
TMB2 will be made of locally and sustainably sourced mass timber, a light wood that allows for faster construction and smaller foundations than concrete or steel. The campus landscape will utilize water management features like rainwater capture and reuse, and will incorporate native plants, which require less maintenance and can be beneficial for the area’s fauna. Under Armour also plans to use solar power throughout the facility, placing solar panels over buildings and parking spaces to generate about 2,500 megawatt hours of power.
TMB2 will be one of three buildings on Under Armour’s 50-acre campus and the only one being built from scratch; the other two, Building 37 and Building 96, were previously a Sam’s Club and a Walmart, respectively. The center of the campus will contain a track and field that the company hopes to use for a variety of purposes, from product photoshoots to local high school games or meets.
Currently, the campus is on track to be fully occupied by 2025.
The campus’s current design is significantly scaled down from plans Under Armour originally announced in 2016. A previously planned parking garage has been scrapped and replaced with parking lots for employees and visitors; two of the three buildings Under Armour planned to build were eliminated; and a plan for a large stadium seating between 5,000 and 12,000 people was replaced by the smaller track and field, which will allow for 1,400 spectators.
Overall, the UDAAP panel members said they were excited by the current plans for the campus, and congratulated the Under Armour and Gensler teams for designing a building that represents Under Armour’s values and has the potential to become Baltimore’s next iconic piece of architecture.
“Kudos for thinking bold and developing what will be a very memorable and iconic project,” UDAAP Chair Ilieva said.