Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Hundred Kingshighway - 2016 St. Louis City Talk Favorite

Last but certainly not least on my list of twenty favorites from 2016, the skyscraper proposal at One Hundred Kingshighway Boulevard between West Pine and Lindell in the Central West End Neighborhood.
This one was announced in December, so I had already assembled my list of top twenty projects when this one came in. That list had to change when I saw this rendering for a 36-story residential tower on a current surface parking lot, overlooking the jewel of the Midwest-Forest Park I was blown away.

The design is nothing short of mind-blowing. I've never seen anything like this in St. Louis. I thought it was some kind of joke at first.

I love this design...and it is by world-renowned architecture and urbanism firm Studio Gang based in Chicago and New York. 

I recently took the Chicago architecture tour on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. This is where I became familiar with Studio Gang's work with the beautiful Aqua Tower. My wife and I fell in love with this one.
As the boat is slowly traveling down the river, the textures and colors of the building change, it is an incredible work of art to witness in person.

It's my second favorite building on the tour; second only because I'm from Belleville, Illinois and if you are from there and a proud Gen-X'er, this is your favorite building on the tour:
And no, the architecture docent was not aware Belleville native (now Chicago resident) Jeff Tweedy's band Wilco used this building as the image on the cover of their best record "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" from 2002. It was my duty as a proud Belleville native to point this out privately to the docent after the tour. She hadn't a clue what I was talking about, I clearly embarrassed my wife...but my work was done.

Sorry, I've digressed, One Hundred Kingshighway makes me nervous...I'm worried it won't materialize. Yeah, I'm nerding out hard on this one. But, this is a historic opportunity and I don't want to see it fizzle out.

I would be so proud to drive by this building on tours when I show people around the city. I'd just shut my mouth and say, check this out: that's from world renowned female-founded architectural firm Studio Gang from Chicago:
American architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang is the founding principal of Studio Gang. Jeanne is recognized internationally for a design process that foregrounds the relationships between individuals, communities, and environments. Drawing insight from ecological systems, her analytical and creative approach has produced some of today’s most compelling design work, including the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo and Aqua Tower.

Jeanne is currently designing major projects throughout North America, including cultural projects such as the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History; mixed-use towers in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago; and university work including the Campus North Residential Commons at the University of Chicago. Studio Gang was also recently selected to design the new US Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.

So the thought of this building in my city is just the most.

Imagine this 36-story, 385 feet tall masterpiece on the Central West End skyline from Forest Park. This novice art lover, city lover, architecture lover, St. Louis citizen is smitten!

So nice, let's look twice:

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