Saint Louis Art Museum Set to Open New East Building by Architect David Chipperfield

Art Museum - SLAMThe Saint Louis Art Museum is set to open its new East Building June 29. The numbers tell you one part of the story: $162M project, three years to build, exterior façade of 23 Missouri River aggregate 22×40-foot panels—each weighs 84,000lbs, 200K sq ft, 40K sq ft housing 250 works in 21 galleries, 13K sq ft of classroom and public space, restaurant and café seats 160, underground paid parking for 300 cars. The public grand opening is June 29.

That’s impressive enough, but the real value of the addition will be the visitor experience. The best thing is that you don’t have to wait to experience the new addition. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has produced an incredible virtual tour of the new space. Click on any of the virtual tour images below to check it out. With the addition, St. Louis also adds a notable architect to its outstanding recent art museum projects: Tado Ando-The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts (2001), Brad Cloepfil-Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2003), Fumihiko Maki-Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (2006) and now David Chipperfield-SLAM East Building (2013).

Of course you’ll still need to visit the museum to view Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone Sea, an installation of 25 arch of Missouri limestone, each 10 feet tall and all not really squeezed between the old and new buildings, but filling a narrow courtyard space. And you can’t see the reworked Sculpture Hall on the virtual tour either. The Neptune Fountain is gone, replaced by a circular staircase to the museum’s lower levels, which were previously only accessed by obscured stairwells far from the main entrance.

{Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone Sea – left image by SLAM, right image by}

{sculpture hall with Neptune Fountain and during renovation – images by Paul Hohmann}

{sculpture hall c. 1920 – image by SLAM}