This Week's Project:
- Project Name East End Transformation
- Company Name: KieranTimberlake
- Project Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- Project Information/Details:
Washington University in St. Louis will hold a dedication for the eight projects in its $360 million East End Transformation on October 2, 2019. Among the projects are two buildings for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (one of the top programs for art, architecture and design in the U.S.): the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Anabeth and John Weil Hall.
The Kemper Art Museum opened its renovated and expanded facility on Saturday, September 28, with the major survey exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. The newly constructed Weil Hall houses state-of-the-art graduate studios, classrooms and digital fabrication spaces, and is already in active use by students.
Designed by the internationally acclaimed architecture firm KieranTimberlake, both projects are part of the East End Transformation of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Master planning for the East End was led by landscape architect Michael Vergason.
“This is the dawn of a new era for Washington University and the Sam Fox School,” says Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean and E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts at the Sam Fox School. “Weil Hall and the expanded Kemper Art Museum demonstrate the important role that art, architecture and design education play within a top-tier private research university.”
All new buildings on the East End of Washington University have been designed to achieve LEED-Gold certification, and many include solar photovoltaic arrays located on the roofs to generate renewable electricity. High-efficiency heat recovery chillers will harvest waste heat for much of the heating needs, and an underground garage capped with a green roof creates a new space—the Ann and Andrew Tisch Park.
The park’s landscape design features rain gardens with bio-retention, native plantings and a diverse tree canopy. Low-carbon transportation will be encouraged with a new bike commuter facility, which includes showers and lockers, electric vehicle charging stations, and a network of bicycle and pedestrian pathways to link campus to Forest Park and regional greenways.
Expanded Kemper Art Museum: Wider Reach, Deeper Engagement
A striking new 34-foot-tall polished stainless-steel facade draws visitors to the expanded Kemper Art Museum. The building’s pleated surface reflects the dynamic movement of campus and sky while sparking curiosity and inviting interaction. It sets the stage for both the outstanding collection and the thought-provoking exhibitions to be experienced within.
Entering the museum, visitors encounter a soaring new glass-lined lobby, featuring a stunning new commission by Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno. The new 2,700-square-foot James M. Kemper Gallery, with its double-height walls, showcases a range of postwar and contemporary art from the museum’s collection. In all, When lower level galleries open in 2020, the museum’s total public display space will have increased by nearly 50 percent.
As a teaching museum, the Kemper Art Museum serves as a center of cultural and intellectual life on Washington University’s campus and in the larger community. Dating back to 1881, the museum’s collection is especially strong in the areas of 19th- and 20th-century European and American art as well as international art of the 21st century.
The museum reopened September 28 with Ai Weiwei: Bare Life, a thematic exhibition that offers new insight into the celebrated Chinese artist’s work on human rights and his deep engagement with China’s past. On view through January 5, 2020, the exhibition features some 39 artworks created in a wide variety of media over the last two decades. Highlights include the brand-new wallpaper installation Bombs, created for this exhibition, as well as important works never before exhibited in the United States.
Weil Hall: Community and Dialogue
Weil Hall, with its abundant natural light and flexible, loft-style studios and workspaces, is a new locus for teaching, study, creation and critique. The building allows, for the first time in decades, all of the schools graduate and undergraduate art, architecture, and design programs to be located together at the front door to campus.
The luminous, two-story Kuehner Court features a living green wall, skylights and glass walls that allow for visual connectivity between studio spaces, providing students with a feeling of simultaneity and participation in a larger community. Other noteworthy spaces include the Caleres Fabrication Studio, where students and faculty across programs can execute complex projects using state-of-the-art tools, and Weil Hall Commons, which has a commissioned mural wall that will feature new works by alumni each year. KieranTimberlake designed Weil Hall’s sleek glass exterior to create a rich dialogue with the color, form and proportions of all five preexisting buildings for the Sam Fox School. An elegant facade of opaque and translucent glass with vertical aluminum fins affords generous natural light throughout the interior and access to striking campus views while minimizing solar gain and glare inside the building.
Weil Hall joins the Sam Fox School’s stately, Beaux Arts-era Bixby (1926) and Givens (1932) Halls; the modernist pavilion Steinberg Hall (1960); and the limestone-clad Walker Hall and Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (both 2006). The latter three were designed by Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki, a former member of the architecture faculty.
Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden
The Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden—designed by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects—extends the museum’s reach into the surrounding park. Situated along a primary pedestrian walkway, the sculpture garden features iconic works such as Auguste Rodin’s The Shade and Alexander Calder’s Five Rudders as well as a new commission by contemporary artist Dan Graham.
About the East End Transformation
The $360 million transformation of Washington University’s East End encompasses eight major components. These include Weil Hall and the Kemper Art Museum, as well as the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center and the Craig and Nancy Schnuck Pavilion, all designed by KieranTimberlake in partnership with Tao + Lee; an underground parking garage, designed by KieranTimberlake and BNIM; and Ann and Andrew Tisch Park, an expansive green space designed by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects. Two new buildings for the university’s McKelvey School of Engineering will round out the East End: Henry A. and Elvira H. Jubel Hall, designed by Moore Ruble Yudell and Mackey Mitchell; and James M. McKelvey, Sr. Hall which will be completed in 2020, designed by Perkins Eastman with patterhn ives, LLC. McCarthy Building Companies and the Simms Building Group serve as construction managers.
KieranTimberlake is an internationally acclaimed architecture firm with a portfolio of beautifully crafted, thoughtfully made buildings that are holistically integrated to site, program and people. Founded in 1984, the 100- person practice is recognized worldwide with prestigious design awards, publications and exhibitions. The firm’s transdisciplinary approach integrates the expertise of architects, researchers and communicators to create innovative, compelling and award-winning projects for academic, art, cultural, government, and civic institutions throughout North America and overseas.
About Washington University in St.
Louis is a medium-sized, independent university dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The university is counted among the world’s leaders in teaching and research, and draws students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Students and faculty come from more than 100 countries around the world.
The university offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs.