HOK Offers Bold Vision for a New Kiener Plaza and Surrounding Garages: Will the City Act?

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Click image for HOK slideshow

The latest revision to the Gateway Mall Master Plan has been released and clearly there are big conceptual plans ready to follow the success of City Garden. It’s unclear how further development, especially on the scale of the current master plan, will be funded. The St. Louis Beacon covered the new plan as well and the story featured an image of a new Kiener Plaza provided by HOK. There’s some pretty thick archi-speak here, but Michele at the Life at HOK blog explains the firm’s plans:

Every once in a while we’ll do a design project just because we’d like to see things get better, and this is a great example. In an unpaid collaboration with Rollin Stanley (formerly with the St Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency), engineering artist Johann Hommel, and HOK Architecture, we took a look at Kiener Plaza, a very dated, yet well-sited plaza that serves very much as St Louis’ front lawn and it strategically connects the Arch to downtown.

To give the garages directly adjacent to the plaza a meaningful presence, layers of interventions were devised to bring an urbane quality to the garage massing. Street-level shops and restaurants should be reconfigured as multi-story facades that relate to the civic scale of Kiener Plaza. Topped with office space overlooking the dynamic plaza, these buildings will be activated day and night. The remaining facades of the garages are to be covered in a veil of stainless steel mesh with integral LED lights that act as a large scale digital display. This surface would interact with the ‘solar’ sculpture to create an engaging and symbolic space.

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