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BRIDGING STYLES First-time visitors attending events at the center receive a history lesson, both overtly and subtly. Laura Miller, a vice president and principal at LS3P, the Wilmington architectural firm of record for the convention center’s exterior and interior, says the building’s design was meant to symbolize all the area has to offer. The firm incorpo-rated architectural references to the area’s proximity to ocean and river, shipbuilding and sailing ships. Miller was also inspired by the rail history of the site. Insulating white metal panels and masts were used in the exterior design process, “creating the imagery of the old sailing ships that were along the docks,” LS3P studio leader Charles H. Boney Jr. says. “That was a guiding principle to us.” Boney, a third-generation architect, is also a vice president and principal at LS3P. Boney Architecture merged with LS3P in 2005, the year Charles Boney Sr. retired. Other exterior details contribute to the connection of sea and river: a metal sidewalk railing incorporates the shape of billow-ing sails and street lighting fixtures mimic seagulls. The red brick used for the exterior harkens back to the buildings once prevalent throughout Wilmington’s waterfront area. “The red brick is reminiscent of the old brick warehouses that are down there along the waterfront, the old railroad warehouse that is now the Coastline Conference and Event Center, that’s good ol’ red North Carolina brick, that’s why we used that brick,” Boney says. “We were bringing that forward into a modern design language that we could feel good about and then turn that language into a convention center that could attract people and be an asset to Wilmington.” LS3P visualized the Wilmington Convention Center as a transi-tion between those historic century-old brick buildings and the more modern architecture of the burgeoning north end. “The brick is a reference to the older, more historic part of downtown. The white metal panels offer crisp, clean lines. They are a stitch between the old and new as downtown Wilmington continues to grow and redevelop the northern end of town,” Miller says. LS3P INCORPO-RATED ARCHITEC-TURAL REFERENCES TO THE AREA’S PROXIMITY TO OCEAN AND RIVER, SHIPBUILD-ING AND SAILING SHIPS. ARCHITECT LAURA MILLER WAS ALSO INSPIRED BY THE RAIL HISTORY OF THE SITE. 66 WBM june 2016


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