David Chipperfield’s design for an expansion of the Saint Louis Art Museum was unveiled on November 5, marking a milestone after more than a decade of master-planning, community engagement, and fundraising. The London-based architect has created an elegantly understated 85,000-square-foot new wing for the neo-classical building, nearly doubling its size. Cass Gilbert designed the original structure for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. It is located in Forest Park, the city’s primary public green space, dramatically situated at the crest of a hill.
Chipperfield’s addition replaces parking lots to the south and east of the Gilbert building (top). It will be sheathed in cast-on-site, darkly-tinted polished concrete panels, highlighted by the gleam of Meramec river aggregate (middle). The existing museum’s circulation patterns have been deftly extended into a new single level of sky-lit galleries (above).