Architects: BNIM, Burt Hill
Location: Charleston, SC, USA
Architect: BNIM and Burt Hill
Project Year: 2007
From the architect. The City of North Charleston approached BNIM and Burt Hill with one challenge - create a unique memorial dedicated to the thousands of their men and women, both military and civilian, who have risked their lives fighting for our country and citizens. Located on the grounds of the former Charleston Naval Base in Riverfront Park, the memorial is organized along a visual timeline using architecture, graphics and landscape to communicate the evolution of three naval vessels built over the course of the Base’s operational years: the Landing Craft, the Submarine and the Destroyer.
Exemplifying integration between architecture and graphics, this memorial provides an experience for visitors, drawing them into a naval scene and illustrating the naval culture that shaped the city, its people and those who were stationed at the former naval base. Inspired by naval vessels from the 1920’s, the monument consists of a shell of curving panels surrounded by water channels that enhance the visitors journey. Reflecting the materials and aesthetics of Navy ships, the structure and graphics use metal cladding and printed metal collages to tell the story.
The communicational objectives of the memorial are intended to honor, admire, interact and learn about the history of Naval Base, the ships used and all who served there.
The intent of the memorial is to honor those men and women, both military and civilian who have risked their lives fighting for our country and people, while at the same time allowing visitors the opportunity to interact and learn about the history of the former Naval Base. A visual timeline that captures the war era between 1901 and 1955 through the use of a photo collage, maps and typography, serve to inform the visitor about the base’s naval history. Materials include a Zinc fabricated structure. Iodized photos, typography and vector graphics were directly applied to the zinc plates. The photo collage was fabricated as one piece and bolted to shell.