Jefferson Memorial Competition

Civitas, PWP and Foster and Partners teamed to become finalists for an international competition to re-imagine and rebuild the grounds of the St Louis Arch in time for the 50 year anniversary in 2015. The original design for the grounds by Kiley and Saarinen had never truly been implemented although the site had been protected as a national historic landmark. In the team’s research into site it was found that in fact Kiley’s original scheme included a much richer palette of landscapes, places and activities than were actually built.

The team’s proposal dramatically increases the size of the museum, bringing the entries right to the edge of downtown and across the freeway that isolates the site. A series of skylights reveals the arch from below. In a major gesture to connect the city to the arch and the river, the proposal lowers the grade of the site dramatically to allow the land to flow downward steadily from the historic Federal Courthouse to the river. The scheme also fully and finally buries the railroad tracks that isolate the river and restores the scale and generous progression of stairs leading from the arch to a half mile of restored cobblestone on the riverbank.

Client: City/Arch/River + The National Park Service
Partners: PWP Landscape Architecture, Foster and Partners Architects
Completed: NA
Budget: Not established
Location: St. Louis, MO