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The concourse rafters mimic the ribs of a ship’s hull. “They were designed deliberately to reflect the appearance of a ship’s ribs that you might see if you were looking underneath it as it was being built. Looking up, you’d see those ribs in place,” Boney says. “Remember that Wilmington was also a shipbuilding center, that’s a part of our his-tory. Reflecting on our history and being able to put those ribs — it lets the public’s mind wander a little bit, and it is a great opportunity to evoke those kind of images.” The facility features regionally sourced wood wainscoting throughout, muted fabric-covered walls, and thoughtfully placed rocking chairs instead of traditional commercial seating. In the exhibit hall, canvas-like material used as awnings over the doors recalls the sailing tradition along the East Coast. “We were thinking about the sailing ships that used to bring cargo up and down the coast,” Boney says. “We were looking for that imagery in the same way that we have it in the main ballroom with the lighting.” A standout design element in the grand and junior ballrooms and meeting spaces is the lighting. LS3P worked with Lighting Design Collaborative in Philadelphia to produce one-of-a-kind chandeliers with a nautical look. Visitors see a variety of shapes in the dangling glass design, including coral, fish bones and boat propellers. The concourse is gracefully lit with chandeliers that give the impression of 18th-century lighted candelabras. The awnings, rafters and lighting all were inspired by the city’s history. The walls feature a history of the Cape Fear region. 70 WBM june 2016


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