The large parking structure on the north end will be removed an be replaced with three smaller structures around the park space, and the new Urban Ecology Center will be constructed along with new playgrounds and an earthern amphitheater. Conversely the south end will include areas for various seasonal programs such a beer garden, ice rink, recreational space, cafes and event areas.
MVVA also proposes to restore wetland ecologies and to manufacture a new habitat for a diversity of bird species. The design team has proposed constructing an elevated walkway on the east bank of the river that will let visitors walk at the height of the treetops and observe this new ecosystem and experience the birds at eye level. MVVA also proposes the reconstruction of brick-paved walkway connecting from the levee up to the arch, in addition to pre-cast concrete “river gauges” to help define the water level. Solar powered lights atop of the gauges will increase in intensity as the river’s water level rises.
MVVA will travel to St. Louis on Friday to hear the official announcement of their win, but they will then immediately start working with the National Park Service and the City of St. Louis to refine the plan, begin feasibility studies and determine a budget for the project. Completion of the redevelopment is expected in 2015– a date that also marks to the arch’s 50 year anniversary.
The MVVA Team is an impressive lineup of design experts and firms, including Steven Holl Architects, Greenberg Consultants, Uhlir Consulting, HR&A Advisors, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Arup, LimnoTech, Pine and Swallow Environmental, Applied Ecological Services, Ann Hamilton Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Cooper Robertson & Partners, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Project Projects, Vector Communications, and ABNA Engineering.