As part of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) team that won the 2010 City+Arch+River international design competition, Cooper Robertson and James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA) with Trivers Associates have designed the significant expansion and renovation of the Eero Saarinen-designed Museum of Westward Expansion, located directly below the iconic Gateway Arch. The museum improvements are one part of MVVA’s comprehensive expansion and renewal of the National Park’s Dan Kiley-designed 91-acre landscape with dramatically improved connections to downtown St. Louis.
The work of James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA) has primarily focused upon the planning and design of the museum expansion’s new West Entry and public spaces. JCDA has applied its design approach founded on the experience of light in the built environment, to the entry sequence and the new main public spaces of the Museum Arrivals Hall which lead down to and connect with renewed exhibitions and the renovated Saarinen museum below the Arch. Beyond transforming, modernizing and improving the museum, the project goal was to better integrate the new and original museum within the National Park Service’s Gateway Arch landscape and improve connectivity between the Park to the Old Courthouse and into downtown St. Louis. JCDA and Cooper Robertson have created a new civic space that engages with and re-enforces the presence of the international icon of the Arch, while directly supporting the re-vitalization of downtown St. Louis.