Mid-West jewel box

Sharon McHugh
Wednesday 23 Dec 2009

Chipperfield-designed wing greenlighted for construction

A $130.5 million expansion to the St. Louis Art Museum will move forward in early 2010, with groundbreaking set for January 19th. Designed by David Chipperfield, the new modernist wing will provide over 200,000 square feet of space, increasing the museum’s gallery and public space by 30%.

Resembling a modern temple, Chipperfield’s new wing stands in contradistinction to the Museum’s original building, a limestone and brick structure designed in 1904 by Cass Gilbert for the Worlds Fair. To be sheathed in black polished concrete panels, the building will have an open plan and naturally lit interior spaces, provided by skylights and expansive floor to ceiling windows. Below the building, will be located a 300 space parking garage. As part of the expansion project, improvements will also be made to the original museum building to update the galleries and to clarify circulation.

Commenting on the addition and its contribution to the museum at large, Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin said: “Over the past 125 years, strategic acquisitions by the Museum and magnificent gifts from local benefactors have created a collection that places the Museum among the top 10 comprehensive art museums in the country. David Chipperfield’s design pays thoughtful and elegant homage to Cass Gilbert while creating gracious new spaces to house the Museum’s extraordinary holdings.”

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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