The City + The Arch + The River = St. Louis Arch Park FINALISTS

Five Finalists’ Design Concepts on Display at Gateway Arch and in Traveling Exhibit

August 17, 2010 – September 30, 2010

The design concepts of the five competing teams are on display in the Gateway Arch visitors center through September 30, 2010. A traveling exhibit will visit sites throughout the bi-state area through September 26, 2010. See Key Dates for locations, dates and times.

Check out the amazing final presentations here;

About the Competition: Five finalist teams are competing to invigorate the park and areas surrounding the Gateway Arch, including the Missouri and Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. By designing people into the park and preserving this famous monument to westward expansion, the National Park Service and the competition’s other sponsors seek to create a national model for urban parks.

The competition winner will be announced on September 24, 2010. The project completion date is set for October 28, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch. For the first time in a half century, the National Park Service is revisiting one of the world’s most iconic monuments – The Gateway Arch – to integrate the magnificent memorial and its grounds with St. Louis, the Mississippi River and Illinois on the other side.

They’ve announced a new international design competition, calling on the world’s best designers and architects. The competition launched on December 8, 2009.

This story begins in September 1947, when a national design competition was held to produce a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and the era of American Westward Expansion. The jury chose the most audacious entry – a gleaming 630-foot stainless steel arch, the first of several masterpieces by the gifted but short-lived Eero Saarinen. Completed in 1965, the Gateway Arch instantly became an international destination and won immediate recognition as one of the world’s premier works of public art.

Time has been kind to the Arch, which still astonishes with its boldness and beauty. The grounds immediately surrounding it, designed by the late Dan Kiley, are also widely regarded as a masterpiece. But the site has become a kind of island – severed and isolated from the rest of the city – on its west, north, and south – and from the Mississippi River and points east.

Now, in the spirit of Saarinen, new inspiration is being sought. A call has been issued in accordance with a new General Management Plan by the National Park Service to better “frame” this American masterpiece. The goals: weave it back into the fabric of the city and the region … rejuvenate connections … welcome and draw people for repeated visits … and re-energize the region for living, working and visiting. As in 1947, this competition aims to invite and extract “the best from the best” to create a model for integrating open space into a city’s urban fabric.