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Saint Louis Art Museum Sets Date for Grand Opening of Expansion
Sir DavidChipperfield's design for the new East Building of Saint Louis Art Museum features a dramatic dar, polished concrete façade incorporating Missouri river aggregates, and new galleries and public spaces with skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows that invite and provide views from both inside and outside.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 23, 2012 - The Saint Louis Art Museum will open its new East Building, designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield, with a free, two-day public festival, June 29 - 30, 2013.
The 200,000-square-foot East Building has been sited to the east and south of the Musuem's Main Building, designed in the Beaux Arts style by architect Cass Gilbert and completed for St. Louis' 1904 World's Fair. Chipperfield's design for the new East Building features a dramatic dar, polished concrete façade incorporating Missouri river aggregates, and new galleries and public spaces with skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows that invite and provide views from both inside and outside.
In addition to providing a 30% increase in the Museum's gallery and public spaces, the design features a new 2,500-square-foot, 100-seat destination restaurant and a 60-seat Café with sweeping view of Forest Park. Palo Alto-based food servie group Bon Appétit Management Company has been selected to procure and prepare all of the food. Both the restaurant and cafe will feature unique and evolving menus that foster lively conversations between the art of cooking and the location, exhibitions, and collection of the Art Museum.
The project has also allowed extensive improvements to the South Building's education spaces and auditorium, in addition to more than doubling the Museum's previous parking capacity.
The $162 million project was made possible by the largest capital campaign for a cultural institution in St. Louis history.
Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin, stated "The Museum's expansion project is nothing less than transformational. Every area of our collection is benefitting from additional gallery space."
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.
The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.
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