Located at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on the eastern shore of Charleston Harbor, the museum’s waterfront location is near the iconic Ravenel Bridge. The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown is moored just offshore. While the city of Charleston is across the harbor, the physical context of the museum is the site itself: the Yorktown, the expanse of wetlands and the clusters of trees.
As you enter the site, sweeping rows of Bald Cypress Trees direct your view to the museum and form a threshold that you cross as you enter the site. The entry drive is framed by Live Oak Trees which are indicative of the South Carolina landscape.
As you pass through the Land Pavilion you arrive at the Patriots Point Promenade, which is a public promenade that runs all along the waterfront. Beyond the Promenade is a soft, native landscape of marsh grasses and trees that serve as the base of the Museum Building and unite the site with the harbor. A series of narrow pedestrian boardwalks hover just above the surface and offer commanding views out to the waterfront as well as back towards the museum site.
Safdie Architects, Seamon Whiteside