Design team unveils plans for the renovated and expanded Gateway Arch Museum

The goal of the project is to create closer and more robust connections between the Gateway Arch Museum and the landscape of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

February 26, 2018 |
The new museum plaza

Rendering courtesy Cooper Robertson.

A design team consisting of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Cooper Robertson, and James Carpenter Design Associates with Trivers Associates and Haley Sharpe Design won the international competition for the opportunity to expand and renovate the Eero Saarinen-designed Gateway Arch Museum in St. Louis.

The expanded Gateway Arch Museum, designed by Cooper Robertson and James Carpenter Design Associates, has a dramatic entrance and plaza that is nestled into the historic landscape. The design includes new public spaces, a great entry hall that leads to re-imagined exhibitions and the fully renovated original Saarinen building beneath the Arch.

Nearly 45,000 sf of new museum space has been added and over 100,000 sf of existing space has been reconfigured into new exhibition galleries, public education facilities, and visitor amenities. The new Gateway Arch Museum extends west towards downtown St. Louis with a new entrance and plaza that connects to the redesigned and expanded Luther Ely Smith Square, which now spans over a depressed interstate highway.

 

The mezzanine in the new Gateway Arch MuseumRendering courtesy Cooper Robertson.

 

The museum’s public spaces and surroundings are fully integrated into the overall plan for the Dan Kiley-designed 91-acre Park. The Museum and Park now connect directly to the 1862 Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

“The Museum design is fully integrated into the National Register-listed landscape,” says Cooper Robertson’s Scott Newman, in a release. “The new entrance is precisely inserted into the topography, allowing visitors to enter the building through the landscape rather than descending underground. As one enters, a luminous great hall is revealed with views deep into the Museum’s monumentally scaled exhibits below, elevating and enlivening the visitor experience, while respecting Dan Kiley’s original Park design.”

According to the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, the nonprofit group behind the project, one of the main goals of the renovation and expansion is to create closer and more robust connections between the Gateway Arch Museum, the landscape of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and the city of St. Louis as a whole.

McCarthy Building Companies is the general contractor for the project.

The Museum will open to the public this year with an official dedication ceremony planned for July 2018.

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