The Board of Commissioners of the Saint Louis Art Museum unveiled designs today for a $125 million expansion of its historic facility in Forest Park. The expansion will increase the Museum’s galleries and public spaces, providing new exhibition space for the Museum’s comprehensive collection of more than 30,000 objects and for touring exhibitions.
The design will result in the relocation of surface parking into a 300-space below-grade parking garage. The project also includes a new restaurant and a new, fully accessible entrance directly off Fine Arts Drive with a dedicated entry to the south of the building for school and adult group arrival. The Museum expects to break ground on the expansion project in late 2008, with completion anticipated in 2011.
Recognized in October with England’s highest honor for architecture-the Royal Institute of British Architects’ James Stirling Prize-London-based architect David Chipperfield unveiled models and renderings for a design that demonstrates his firm’s sensitivity to both the Museum’s historic Cass Gilbert-designed building and its dramatic setting in Forest Park.
The design calls for an addition to the east and south of the original 1904 building with a dark, polished concrete façade incorporating Missouri river aggregate. New galleries and public spaces will feature skylights and a number of floor-to-ceiling windows to invite and provide views from both inside and outside. The plan provides for 82,452 square feet of new galleries, public space and collections support plus 128,979 square feet for below-grade parking.