Archer-Bull Architectural Design Award
26th Annual Archer-Bull Design Award
The Economic and Community Development Commission of the Town of Bel Air annually presents the Archer-Bull Award for architectural and design excellence, named after prominent 19th century Bel Air architect George Archer and master builder Jacob Bull. In order to be eligible, projects must have undergone exterior façade work within the past five years and can include individual buildings, buildings in strip centers and infill spaces. An independent architect reviews the eligible projects and makes a recommendation based on uniqueness of design, materials, compatibility to surrounding structures and overall visual appeal. Following an architectural review, community and/or economic impact of the project may also be taken into consideration. Winners are announced at the annual awards ceremony.
Please join us in celebrating the local projects that have won the Archer-Bull Award over the past 25 years!
2023 - 331 Baltimore pike
Today, 331 Baltimore Pike sits on the site that was once the landmark location of Kunkel Auto Parts, a building that dated back to 1954. While it might have been easy to simply demolish a dated and aging building, consigning it to history, the developers and designers of 331 Baltimore Pike more than rose to the challenge of retaining the history of the building--while updating and upgrading it to evolve into a marketable and attractive modern retail center.
331 Baltimore Pike is an excellent example of the successful adaptive reuse of a nondescript commercial strip without the need for corporate branding. The proportions of the architectural elements are pleasing and serve to delineate individual businesses while unifying the whole. The clerestory windows and glimpses of the roof structure add to the allure of the building. The mix of materials used in the building is very attractive, and the materials are artfully used to detail different facades and to link the facades to the signage. 331 Baltimore Pike is a vibrant and visually appealing addition to Route 1 and the Town of Bel Air, and the effort put into the design is highly commendable. In addition to its architectural strengths, 331 Baltimore Pike is now the home to 8 businesses and has created 68 jobs in our community. For these reasons, 331 Baltimore Pike has been chosen as the 2023 Archer-Bull Award recipient.
2022 - Bel air academy
Owner: John Zoulis, Zoulis Properties
Architectural Firm: Architectural Design Works, Towson, MD
Builder: Creative Home Co.
The history of the Bel Air Academy goes back many, many years.
The Bel Air Academy project is composed of two buildings, one being the historic first brick elementary school in Bel Air, built in the1880’s. It served as the headquarters of the Harford County public schools until they moved into their new building on Hickory Avenue in 2006. The building sat vacant for many years and was purchased at auction by Mr. John Zoulis, with the stipulation that the building could not be demolished. Mr. Zoulis, inspired by the challenge to maintain the historic bones of the building, went to work and broke ground on the project in 2019. The two-building complex contains twelve townhomes and eight apartments; all of which were leased out immediately upon completion. The project indicated what town stakeholders have been stating for years – that the demand for housing near Main Street and the historic downtown core of Bel Air is high and encourages economic growth and vitality to a part of town that was once ailing with disinvestment.
The design and construction of both structures made sure to blend with the structures in the neighborhood and materials were used to complement the color scheme that would create continuity with surrounding elements of nature and environment.
As a result, the compatibility to the surrounding structures and use of distinctive materials creates a unique and complementary design that truly integrates with the rest of the surrounding landscape -- and for these reasons, The Bel Air Academy on Gordon Street was chosen as this year’s Archer Bull Award recipient.
2021 - 5 N. Main: 5 North Main Street
Owner: Kevin Jablon
Architectural firm: Twopoint Studio, LLC, Baltimore, MD
Builder: Bay Country Associates, Inc, Bel Air, MD
Design: LUUA Design Studio, Baltimore, MD
5 North Main opened their doors in Bel Air in early July with a complete rehab of their location on Main Street.
Owner Kevin Jablon worked with designer Anne Stahl of LUUA Design Studio to modernize and revitalize the building and transform it into a vibrant part of Main Street. As part of the transformation, the entrance has been more clearly defined with the addition of new articulated stone veneer.
Known many years ago as the old Bel Air movie theater, the exterior of the building with its cast stone base, red brick, Gibbs surround, quoins and copper roof has been redesigned to include the addition of a new copper roof color that compliments the stone and adds to the modern revitalization. The articulation and color of the stone softens the street view and provides scale to the recessed contrasting storefronts and the main entrance. The painting of the brick has neutralized the period building and has created a more modern appearance.
5 North Main’s public entrance is clearly defined, and the large front windows contribute to its Main Street appeal and to interaction with the public. With the help of designer Anne Stahl of LUUA Design Studio and architect David Lopez of Twopoint Studio, the team reimagined what the façade and interior of 5 North Main could become and have successfully transformed the location and have created a hub for activity in a formerly vacant building. The building now hosts a popular coffee shop, co-working spaces and podcast studios, thereby increasing foot traffic and creating an inviting area to meet and gather with your friends and co-workers.
Compatibility to the surrounding structures and use of distinctive materials create a unique design on Main Street and for these reasons, the location of 5 North Main was chosen as this year’s Archer Bull Award recipient.
2019 - Streett Hopkins Real Estate
Owners: Chris Streett and Tim Hopkins
Architectural firm: Skorpa Design Studio, Bel Air, MD
Builder: M&S Hilker Construction LLC, Abingdon, MD
Streett Hopkins Real Estate opened their doors in Bel Air in 2015 with a complete rehab of their building at 118 South Main Street. The result is a simply articulated building form. The public entrance is clearly defined and has a recessed protected entrance. The large front window contributes to its Main Street appeal and to interaction with the public. The use of semi-irregular stone work is not a contemporary appearance, however, the cut stone banding and sill, complimentary colored coping and sign panel creates a well-proportioned and pleasant overall building appearance.
The light fixtures flanking the entrance and their lighting of the sign panel are of a period to compliment the Main Street light post in front of the building, adding to the overall rustic charm of Main Street. This renovated and reimagined building is a welcome addition to the Town of Bel Air and its residents.
2018 - One Eleven Main: 111 South Main Street
Owner: Richard Anderson
Architectural Firm: Architectural Design Works, Towson, Maryland
Builder: Bay Country Builders
Owner Richard Anderson had a vision for the building to transform it into a fine dining establishment on Main Street. With the help of Architectural Design Works, they re-imagined what the façade and interior of 111 South Main could become and turned the building into a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors looking for a creative menu and upscale atmosphere.
One Eleven Main is positioned in a two-story building with a smooth black base, projected low roof front and white sided second story with residential style windows and shutters. The use of wood plank with its vibrant tonal quality as a façade, wood trim detailing at the windows and bright red doors set the storefront apart from the existing building. In addition, the width of the wood plank references the existing siding creating a harmony with the building. The large windows and recessed entrance provide a view to the interior, drawing the public into the space. The black and green polished stone panels at each end of the storefront add a sophisticated refinement to the overall appearance. In this case, compatibility and use of distinctive materials create a unique design on Main Street and for these reasons, the location was chosen as the 2018 Archer-Bull Award recipient.