glass façade and roof create fascinating play of light at entrance to gateway arch museum

07/04/2018 The visitor centre for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis was opened in a festive ceremony on 3 July 2018. As part of the complete redesign of the Gateway Arch Park, seele was appointed to create a spectacular entrance zone for the museum.

Gersthofen, 4 July 2018. In February 2017, seele began installing the steel and glass construction for the entrance to the world-famous Gateway Arch National Monument, designed by Cooper Robertson, Architect with James Carpenter Design Associates and Trivers Associates. The new, inviting entrance area consists of a 5.5m high curving glass façade and a glass roof to ensure that plenty of light reaches the interior.

Glass roof with cantilevering stainless steel beams
The roof comprises a total of 74 three-ply laminated panes in sizes of up to 2 x 5.5m which are supported on a steel structure weighing 85t in total. The 38 stainless steel cantilever beams are made from milled solid stainless steel sections tensioned with tie bars. A pattern printed on the glass lends the roof glazing a feeling of vitality. The glass façade, too, with its 24 panes in sizes of up to 1.4 x 5.5m, helps to ensure an interior flooded with daylight. Each of the glass panes of the façade weighs 460 kg and the joint between façade and glass roof permits movement. From inside the building the uninterrupted glass permits spectacular views of the area in front of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the skyline of St. Louis. seele built a mock-up of the proposed solution on its own testing grounds in Gersthofen. The mock-up, consisting of three cantilever beams and the roof panes mounted on these plus the bent façade panes, convinced the architect and the client.

“The project at the famous Gateway Arch monument has allowed us to demonstrate our expertise in façade construction – and especially complex steel-and-glass structures – once again. The Americans in particular are very much aware of exceptional design and structures, which makes this exactly the right place for us.” That’s the view of Michael Steinhülb, managing director of seele, Inc. in New York.

Image: © Nic Lehoux

seele realized the new entrance of the museum at Gatway Arch in St. Louis.

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