Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 12

museums

FEATURE

re-invention is essential to the continued viability of

tural arena they are invested in. In smaller museums,

future change with regards to layout, lighting, audito-

museums, according to Barwick, "Regardless of size,

there is often greater pressure for flexibility, as spaces

ry and visual schemes," he said.

contemporary museums have demonstrated a need to

must pull double- or triple-duty in terms of program-

"The Gateway Arch Museum," Barwick continued,

continuously transform themselves in order to remain

matic flexibility. This, in turn, requires that museums

"features a continuous custom-illuminated ceiling

relevant in addressing current issues in whichever cul-

be designed with an infrastructure which anticipates

system within a large atrium space. The LED lighting

Connecting To Other Cultures, Times, And Places
T

he new Florence County Museum, Florence, SC, presents art, science, and history in a
blended narrative targeting a regional audience. A driving force in its conception and

development was to better serve the area's school children, who had no opportunities to
experience art and material culture first hand. A museum visit offers their first and perhaps
only connection to other cultures, times, and places. Cooper Robertson's (New York,
cooperrobertson.com) design met the challenge to create an elevating and transporting
experience for the school children while attracting a broader audience to an inviting
center of culture, learning, and keeper of the region's patrimony.
In addition to achieving its educational mission, the project has served as an important
catalyst for the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Florence, a historic center
for this region of approximately 200,000 in north-central South Carolina. The city leaders
have been involved in a decade-long effort to revive a downtown area that had lost its
relevance as the majority of its retail stores and restaurants closed, while national chains
in shopping centers proliferated closer to the interstate highways several miles away.
Located on the corner of Cheves and Dargan Streets, the museum completes a cultural
district in downtown Florence that includes a new library, theater, and a performing-arts
center. The museum, on the southern edge of Florence's historic commercial core, creates
a physical link between these new cultural landmarks to the south and the downtown
area's historic commercial storefronts to the north.
The 28,900-sq.-ft., U-shaped building surrounds a landscaped courtyard with two linear

Above. The new Florence County Museum presents art, science, and history in a blended narrative targeting a
regional audience. A driving force in its conception and development was to better serve the area's school children,
who had no opportunities to experience art and material culture first hand. Photo: Courtesy Cooper Robertson

wings accessed by a dramatic double-height lobby. The fa├žade, composed of tan- and
rose-colored brick, cream-colored precast concrete, and zinc-clad light monitors, projects
the museum's role as a center of culture and learning. The materials integrate the character
of the lighter-colored stone buildings in the cultural district and the predominately redbrick facades of the downtown commercial buildings.
In addition to an education wing that houses programs for school groups and adults,
there are spaces for collections processing and storage, and staff offices. The new
building has more than three times the gallery space of the museum's previous home.
The large outdoor courtyard, landscaped with plants indigenous to the region, creates an
additional gallery for learning, as well as a setting for special events.
Galleries house a permanent exhibit that uses art and natural and historical artifacts to
trace the region's and city's development from prehistory to the present. A special gallery
with state-of-the-art climate control has changing exhibits from the museum's collections
and enables the display of loan shows from leading national museums. Controlled
natural light illuminates the galleries. The inaugural show displayed the work of William
H. Johnson, a Florence native, whose paintings were borrowed from the Smithsonian
American Art Museum.
The opening of the museum has increased the momentum of investment in the historic
downtown-with a new hotel, restaurants, and retail stores contributing to the remarkable
rebirth of a lively commercial, cultural, and entertainment center-proving that good
design brings value and that culture and education can be effective economic drivers.

12

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

JUNE 2018

commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Below. Galleries at the Florence County Museum house a permanent exhibit that uses art and natural and historical artifacts to trace the region's and city's development from prehistory to the present. Controlled natural light
illuminates the galleries. Photo: Courtesy Cooper Robertson


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture June 2018

Museums Evolve To Remain Relevant
Museum Blends Biblical History And Technology
The Architects
Showcase
Index
Portfolio
HVAC & Plumbing
Interiors
Lighting & Electrical
Exteriors
Windows & Doors
Building Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 1
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 2
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 3
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 4
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 5
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 7
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Museums Evolve To Remain Relevant
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 9
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 10
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 11
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 12
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 13
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 14
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 15
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 16
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 17
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Museum Blends Biblical History And Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 19
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 20
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 21
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 22
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 23
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - HVAC & Plumbing
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 25
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 26
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 27
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 28
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 29
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 30
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 31
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Interiors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 35
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 36
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 37
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 38
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 39
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 40
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Lighting & Electrical
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 42
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 43
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 44
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 45
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 46
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 47
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 48
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Exteriors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 50
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 51
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 52
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 53
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 54
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 55
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 56
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Windows & Doors
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 58
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 59
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 60
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Building Technology
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 62
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - 63
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Index
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Portfolio
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover3
Commercial Architecture June 2018 - Cover4
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