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New Expansion of St. Louis Gateway Arch Museum

July 20, 2018

Officially open to the public, the renovated Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center feature a new glass entrance and plaza along with easier accessibility.


In St. Louis, Missouri, the newly renovated Gateway Arch Museum is officially open to the public after over three years of construction. Totaling 45,000 square feet of new museum area, the original design by Eero Saarinen has been expanded into approximately 100,000 square feet of additional exhibition galleries, public education facilities, and visitor services.

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In addition to expanded exhibition space, the museum work also adds a new glass entrance and plaza. The design team includes the lead architect Scott Newman, FAIA of architecture and urban design firm Cooper Robertson, with the glass entrance by James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA).

The result of an architecture and design collaboration that won a major international competition, the museum sits underneath the arch and within a new landscape designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), that creates a new cultural center and revitalizes the recently renamed Gateway Arch National Park. 

“This project is about how architecture, great monumental public art, and well-designed public spaces can make great cities,” says Cooper Robertson's Scott Newman. “As part of a truly collaborative effort to reshape Gateway Arch National Park and strengthen the physical connections between the city and the Arch, the new Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center respects the spirit of Eero Saarinen's monument while amplifying its relevance."Formerly known as The Museum of Westward Expansion, the renamed Gateway Arch Museum now tells the story of American history in a modern and expanded way, with exhibits by London’s Haley Sharpe Design on indigenous American people as well as the historic pioneers and European settlers of the American West. Just as important, Newman's expansion employs universal design standards, ensuring true accessibility for visitors of all abilities.


To help solve a number of traffic-related issues and make this iconic site more accessible to visitors, Newman and the museum team also worked closely with landscape architect MVVA, whose design from the original by Dan Kiley, now crosses a highway and connects to the city center of St. Louis.

The Gateway Arch Museum is an initiative of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, and the project team included Newman, along with Andrew Barwick, AIA, of Cooper Robertson, and design consultant James Carpenter Design Associates. The exhibitions are by Haley Sharpe Design of London and Toronto, and St. Louis-based architect, Trivers Associates, rounds out the design team.


About the Author

Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today. 

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