MOMA, St.Louis

During the 1950’s post-war era, St Louis was a place of optimism.  It was a child of Modernist utopianism.  The completion of Mies van der Rohe’s Prutti-Igoe housing complex and the proposal for the Gateway Arch marked a period of expectation in the urban centre.

This Modernist utopianism died and rests in St01 Louis.  Marked by the destruction of Mies van der Rohe’s Prutti-Igoe housing complex in 1972, an event that forced a rapid period of change in global architecture.  The proposed Museum of American Architecture must reflect this monumental shift in architectural thought and must forge a new direction for urban renewal and growth, while remaining sentimental to the Modern tradition.

The proposed Museum of American Architecture will do this by entering into direct dialogue with all parts of the urban pattern and by providing new meaning to old sentiments.  The building is anti-monumental. It moves modestly through the site, partly submerged, it interacts with the courthouse, the park, the arch and the river, yet, it competes with none.

The designs strong reference to the urban history of St Louis, provides the Museum of American Architecture, not only a bold, connective urban insertion, but also act as a catalyst for the future.  New opportunities now lie in St Louis, along the edges of down town, along the waterfront and on the water.


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