JAMES WALTER SCHILDROTH,
ORGANIC ARCHITECT of MAINE
Architecture inspired by my clients and the challenging sites on the coast of Maine since 1970.
The process of working with a creative architect in the design of your home may be one of the most important experiences you will have in life.
Maine Maritime Museum Bath, Maine 1986
Proposed design for a Museum of 30,000 square feet.
Entry view from Washington Street and the parking area.
View from the river. The two buildings to the left and right in the foreground are part of the historic shipyard and were to remain as part of the exhibit. The view to the north from the museum was of the historic shipyard and up the river to the Bath Iron Works the modern shipyard beyond.
Interior sketch of the main gallery. The design put all the exhibits in one large space since much of the exhibits were ship models and other three dimensional artifacts. The main gallery space expanded from this entry point in all three dimensions. The floor stepped down so that at the far end a full size sail boat with mast and sail could be displayed. The ceiling stepped up with a sky light at the ridge let indirect natural light from the north into the great space. The north wall to the left expanded as one descended the ramps to the lower levers of this great space.
From this point of entry the visitor had a choice of directions and both would get them through the entire exhibit. They could go toward the river and view the exhibits from above and then descend stairs or an elevator at the far end to the lower level and return through the exhibit and up the ramps at the north wall or do it in reverse. The ramps were to accommodate the handicapped but also took people out into a glass enclosed view of the historic ship yard and back into the interior exhibit as they moved through the museum.
I felt that the whole design was a kind of abstract boat on the ways waiting to be launched into the Kennebec River. The materials are red brick, with granite trim and a naturally patina copper roofing. The glass pyramid at the entry was an idea to bring light into the entry experience then compress visitors through a small low ceiling door way to immerge into the great gallery space shown in the sketch. This Pyramid idea was designed before the I. M. Pie design for the Lovure in Paris. The selection committee did not see the light or my vision, so all we have are these concept sketches. James Schildroth, Architect