International African American Museum

The landscape design concept for the International African American Museum is inspired by both the cultural significance of the museum’s story and the local landscape of the Carolina lowcountry. The landscape strategy takes cues from the tradition of ‘hush harbors’—landscapes where enslaved Africans would gather often in secret, outside the view of slave owners, to freely assemble, share stories and keep traditions from their homeland alive. As many as half of African Americans today have an ancestor who arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf from West Africa. 

Closest to the building, low-country planting includes a sweet grass field and curving brick walls defining the edge. Site objects mark the history and archeology of the site. This area also allows for informal and programmed gatherings where stories and traditions can once again be shared. 


Charleston, SC 2013 - Present
Budget: $4.5 Million
Size: .75 Acres