Both the new west entry addition and the existing museum spaces are being transformed through materials and light, supporting the symmetry established by the arch and engaging the visitor in a place that embraces and presents a sustainable future.

Images

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 

RENDERING OF ENTRY

RENDERING OF ENTRY PLAZA

PLAN OF MUSEUM

RENDERED AERIAL VIEW OF ENTRY

SECTION OF MUSEUM AND CONTEXT

DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATING CANOPY CONCEPT

DIAGRAM OF VIEW OUT TOWARD THE OLD COURTHOUSE

STUDY MODEL

Description

This new west entry and museum addition is a discrete incision into the landscape that connects the visitor to the historic Old Courthouse, Gateway Arch landscape and sky from all points of the new entry. The expansion and renovation of the Museum of Westward Expansion will enhance the Museum’s existing structure with an illuminated design sensibility that advances the Museum’s integration into the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park and the surrounding urban environment. Working with Cooper Robertson, JCDA is creating a new west entry and museum addition that will add 45,000 square feet of new exhibition space and establish a more intuitive visitor circulation throughout. More than 100,000 square feet of existing exhibition space will be reconfigured by harnessing the site’s natural lighting conditions to create a greater connection to Eero Saarinen’s iconic Gateway Arch. The west entrance to the Museum’s subterranean interior will emerge seamlessly from the existing landscape, with diffused reflective walls that appear to be carved out of the ground itself.

The spatial compression between the semi-circular wall and the release into the new lobby is meant to create a sense of discovery for arriving visitors, accentuating the dramatic contrast between interior and exterior space. The reconfiguration of the Museum’s interior will establish a dialogue between earth and sky, with a newly luminous ceiling that maximizes daylight penetration into the Museum’s subterranean interior. Daylight will be visible at every point in the new space, effectively “opening” the interior and maintaining a direct visual connection to the Gateway Arch. The new entrance will serve as the commencement of a new main circulation that will guide visitors intuitively through the exhibition spaces and culminate in an arrival at a fully renovated Saarinen Hall directly below the Gateway Arch. This entrance will punctuate an expansion of the Museum’s western side, creating a stronger connection with the surrounding campus and downtown St. Louis.


Client: CityArchRiver 2015
Architect: Cooper Robertson
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates