St. Louis, Mo
at the northern edge of an urban site,
this building faces exceptional views
of downtown St. Louis. Additionally, it
can be seen from the Highway 40 elevated
courseway and the west bound access ramp
onto the highway.Under these parameters,
the building is exposed significantly
to either the car or pedestrian.Its footprint
is informed by the motion of the traffic
flow and its section by the five different
levels that make it up.Its two fundamental
components, the eastern facade and the
roof, endorse the complex urban conditions
previously mentioned. The east facade,
perceived from the Metrolink ramps, the
Kiel Auditorium and the west bound pedestrian,
will have the role of a “gate” into this
complex. By appearing as a vertical single
plane made of glass and extruded polycarbon
panels, it will glow at night, becoming
a true marker for the site.
shadow on the eastern elevation arrived
late, although not unexpectedly: it was
the missing component required to complete
within the project what we thought to
be its most intimate condition of gate,
window , hall, lantern, wall, balcony.
Once placed, and quickly adopting the
shape of a wing which hides a stair, which
is an “x” , which also means ‘exchange’,
which suggests motion, it was possible
to regress and place our attention to
the task of properly connecting the five
levels, allocating for retail space and
designing a roof.
The roof ,conceived as a single plane,is
made of standing seam panels and curves
on the west side becoming the west facade.
At the north edge, a terrace overlooking
downtown follows the pedestrian ramp towards
15th st., to the south the Building becomes
a concourse linkage with the Amtrak/Greyhound
Terminal.This linkage continues the formal
principles of the Concourse Bldg.,with
a glass facade on its eastern side and
a curved metal roof to insure continuity.
By sitting along the Metrolink railroad
line, these buildings define the edge
of a large open area and instill it with
a strong architectural character, bringing
to the site a concrete sense of place.
As a connector between metro, bus, train,
car, anything else would have been insufficient.
Which makes sense, if you realize that
due to its preminent position in the site,
this building will have two facades only,
(one fast and other slow; one vertical
and another horizontal, one reflective
and another translucent), but many voices,
roles , users, Identities.