You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

print article Print article
Gateway Arch Park, James Carpenter Design Associates

New Connections: Cooper Robertson and JCDA revitalize the museum and park at the Gateway Arch

Until now, it was the monument itself that characterized the area around the striking Gateway Arch. While the Mississippi flows past to the east, to the west a multi-lane highway separates the historical Old Courthouse and the downtown core, which lies behind the courthouse, from the monument grounds. In the course of the renovation project, Cooper Robertson and JCDA thematized this missing connection. They have designed Gateway Arch Park as a large landscape park that bridges the road, stretches towards the city and accentuates the axis defined by the city centre, the museum and the monument.

The heart of the expansion and modernization project is the underground Museum of Westward Expansion by Eero Saarinen. In collaboration with Trivers Associates, Cooper Robertson and JCDA have completely restaged this by opening a new west entrance which faces the Old Courthouse and has its back to the Gateway Arch. The museum emerges from the underground in a semi-circular wedge, becoming an entryway of glass with a round forecourt. The static equilibrium of the glazed volume rests on a constructive system of massive stainless-steel ribs working in conjunction with reinforced-concrete walls.

A slightly sloping path leads visitors to the new west entrance of the museum and into the bright reception hall. This first leads eastwards to a deeper, intermediate level before joining the existing main tract, which is located directly beneath the Gateway Arch. Old and new are harmonized with a well-considered guidance system and a coherent material concept. Bright white, burnished stainless steel and glass surfaces give the interior spaces a sleek, modern character that sets the exhibits of the Museum of Westward Expansion in the foreground. Moreover, JCDA and Trivers Associates have created a gradual transition from daylight to artificial lighting in the subterranean exhibition spaces, where suspended ceiling elements provide pleasant, diffuse illumination.

Further information:

Partner Architect: Trivers Associates
Landscape architecture: MVVA
Costs: € 330 Mio.

Further articles to the issue DETAIL 7+8/2019 are available here.

DETAIL 7+8/2019
Current magazine
DETAIL 5/2021


See magazine
Product teaser


Detail Newsletter

We will keep you informed about international projects, news on architectural and design topics, research and current events in our newsletter.