St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Immersive and object-based, WRECKED sensitively inserts a contemporary salon and stylized sandbar into a historic two-story keeper’s home, sharing shipwreck stories through the lens of archaeology. Upstairs, a portal defined by a crisply-drafted archaeological grid welcomes visitors and brings the cast of characters to the surface: yesterday’s sailors, Loyalist refugees, today’s archaeologists, and tomorrow’s discoverer, Star Waters, a youthful comic book character. Featuring holographic wallpaper and polycarbonate chandeliers, the salon uses Fresnel optics to frame lighthouse views. The fireplace wall grid imparts archaeological discoveries via digital and analog experiences. Millwork and furnishings reference maritime building techniques and materiality.
As discovery lab, the ancillary STEM-based* learning stations feature navigation tools, heat-searching magnetometer-like pucks, X-rays revealing concreted metal remains, and digital gaming where visitors dive and recover artifact. WRECKED reaches outward at educational and recreational levels, creating a destination for senior lifelong learning, archaeology buffs, and Star Waters “wannabees”.
Submerging below, visitors navigate a stylized sandbar with undulating terrain to experience challenges of oceanographic topography. Constructed of recycled water-salvaged timber, the sandbar flows into nooks as bench displays, leaving the fragile historic structure untouched. As sculpture and interpretive device, the sandbar is a floating classroom where artifacts are located using archeological grid overlays. Set within the huge cisterns once housing lighthouse water supplies, model ships symbolize perilous colonial journeys, floating in unpredictable waves of theatrical light.
Respectful of historic context, the salon, lab and sandbar shape family-friendly places with presence and purpose; channeling the museum’s mission of discovery and preservation.
Owner: St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Architecture, Interior Architecture & Exhibit Design: Architecture Is Fun, Inc.
Art Curator & Commissioning Agent: Fun Finders
Fabrication: Morley Exhibits & Displays
Location: St. Augustine/Florida
Status: Completed 2015.
Photography: © Matt Wargo Photography and Sharon Exley.