green design, eco design, sustainable design, Roadhouse, Morgan State University, adaptive reuse, recycled materials, upcycled shipping pallets, Michael Zebrowski, disused pallets, ARtscape, Baltimore

The Morgan State students of the Architecture and Environmental Design program were lead by the School of Architecture and Planning’s Michael Zebrowski. Taking cues from musicians such as John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Howlin Wolf and Robert Johnson, the students designed Roadhouse, an outdoor music venue to enjoy Blues music.

Disused pallets from local Frank’s Pallets, The Loading Dock, and National Lumber were transformed into a network of pallet columns and archways. The stacked columns became the anchor points for the entire Roadhouse structure, representing the characters and musicians the students were inspired by. The pallet arches and bridges run like ribbons throughout, connecting the columns and representing the rich stories that each musician tells with their soulful Blues compositions.

With two sizes of pallets, reclaimed plywood, found signs and letters, Roadhouse was constructed over a period of two weeks. Located in the Station North community of Baltimore, the streetscape and bandstand provided a shaded resting place for festival goers, as well as a venue for the rotating entertainment programmed for the festival.

+ Michael Zebrowski