All Cultures Follow Rivers

Hayti, MO

Services provided on this project:

Art Studio Overview:

Interpretive features and artistic elements, integrated throughout the building and site, share the story of the unique history of Hayti and the wetland ecology of the floodplains of the Mississippi River basin. An engineer for the Army Corp, who spent a lifetime working on the Mississippi River, remarked in an interview during the floods of 1993, “...that water wants to go where water wants to go.” Water is a defining issue and omnipresent in southeastern Missouri. It leaves its mark on trees, on buildings, and shapes the landscape. Terra cotta Echo-Blocks ® form a continuous band around the building recording this flood line, with another level representing the cables that secure the barges. Visitors are welcomed by sculptural icons based on the historic dredges that created the levees and drained the swamps. An interpretive walking trail depicts the early “pole roads” or plank paths that were built on top of the wetlands. Stumps of bald cypress and water tupelo become markers that exhibit indigenous species, historical photos and written narratives. Lighted columns suggesting the “water ladders” that measure the ever-changing depth of the river become pedestrian bollards around the site. Reliefs depicting unique native plant species are inset into the exterior walls of the building and are flanked by a metal railing pattern of “Thalia.” A map of Pemiscot County and the Mississippi River greets the public as a floor mural in the foyer upon entering the building, while another ceramic tile mural of early Bootheel history is framed between the rest room doorways.

Lighting Design Overview:

  • CLIENT: Missouri Department of Transportation
  • COMPLETE: April 2009
  • SIZE:
    Artwork integrated throughout building and site
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