Beyond expanding and modernizing the Museum at the Gateway Arch, JCDA has opened up an expansive civic space that engages with the iconic presence of the monument itself, while creating a new connection to downtown St. Louis.

Images

NEW WEST ENTRY

NEW WEST ENTRY

SECTION OF MUSEUM AND CONTEXT

CIVIC CONNECTION TO THE CITY

ENTRY THRESHOLD

EMBODIED SENSE OF LIGHT AND CIVIC ACTIVITY

DESCENDING THE MUSEUM ARRIVALS HALL

VIEW TOWARD THE THRESHOLD INTO SAARINEN HALL

LOOKING BACK TOWARD THE WEST ENTRY

THE ENTRY AND CEILING MEDIATE THE TRANSITION INTO THE BELOW GROUND MUSEUM

SUNLIGHT REACHES THE DEPTH OF THE MUSEUM ARRIVALS HALL

THE CURVING ENTRIES ARTICULATES THE ARCH

THE ENTRY CANOPY FRAMES VIEWS OF THE ARCH

THE NEW WEST ENTRY PRESENTS AN IMMEDIATE SENSE OF THE MUSEUM'S PRESENCE

Video

Time lapse of the construction process through May 7th, 2018. The Museum at the Gateway Arch opens July 3rd, 2018.

Description

The substantial expansion and renovation to the Museum at the Gateway Arch’s existing structure advances the Museum’s integration into the National Park and the surrounding urban environment, resulting in an intuitive visitor experience from the Park, the Courthouse, and from downtown St. Louis. Working with Cooper Robertson, JCDA has added 45,000 square feet of new exhibition space, and established accessible visitor circulation throughout. More than 100,000 square feet of existing exhibition space is reconfigured by harnessing the site’s natural light, in turn creating a greater connection to Eero Saarinen’s iconic Gateway Arch.

As visitors traverse the new landscape bridge over I-44 and approach the Museum, two paths graciously converge and lightly descend to the entry. The additional length allows the paths to be completely accessible, and the gradual slope in turn creates a gentle descent and transition from the landscape to the museum entry, resulting in a seamless pedestrian experience. Within the Entry Plaza, strategic landscaping merges views into and out of the Museum with landscaping in the larger environment, connecting the Park and the Museum.

The new West Entry Plaza of the Museum embraces the visitor in an arc of sky and the surrounding landscape, reflected by the diffused scrim of stainless steel screen walls. The tilt of this reflection references the Arch itself, intuitively leading visitors from the Plaza exterior into the Museum’s glassed-in entry volumes, mediating the transition into the below-ground Museum Arrivals Hall with diffused reflective walls that appear to be carved out of the ground itself and creating a sense of discovery for arriving visitors. As visitors enter, the luminous ceiling leads the eye down to the point of transition into the Saarinen-designed Hall, by following exactly the slope of the landscape.

With sensitive planning, innovative materiality, and refined details, every aspect of the Museum’s expansion is now animated by a meaningful vocabulary of light, creating a new space of public engagement that has until now been absent from the site.

Client: Gateway Arch Park Foundation
Architect: Cooper Robertson
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates