MUSEUM OF LIFE AND THE ENVIRONMENT, York County, SC
Project Director / Design Team Leader with William McDonough + Partners
150,000-square-foot museum of people and place designed as a model high-performance facility. The project explores the relationships between culture and nature by focusing on the heritage of the Carolina Piedmont and other demonstrative environments around the world. The building nestles into the hillside overlooking the Catawba River, and the gently arced roofscape springs from the crest of hill to become a habitat for an endangered species of local sunflower. The interior is stratified with gradations of light and space, from black box exhibits to daylight-filled concourses to indoor/outdoor loggias and surrounding gardens. The main structure--radiating concrete walls with fossil patterns--echoes the ruins of fish weirs in the stream below, left by unidentified ancient peoples some 5,000 years ago. Given that the more recent historic communities entered the region no earlier than 500 years ago, the sense of time evoked by these ruins suggest an epochal scale of time.
PRESS: C-SPAN, TreeHugger, ArchNewsNow, National Building Museum exhibit and catalog, David Gissen, Big & Green: Toward Sustainable Architecture in the 21st Century.
“A new kind of experience.” —Van Shields, York County Culture and Heritage Museums