Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis
St. Louis, MO
- Allied Works
- 3750 Washington Boulevard, 63108 St. Louis, MO
The Contemporary is a non-collecting exhibition, educational and event space in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The site is located in the Grand Center District, adjacent to the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Together, the institutions are a focal point for the arts community in St. Louis and a catalyst for the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. The Contemporary’s mission is not to preserve, but to provoke: it presents work from noted artists such as Maya Lin, Bruce Nauman and Cindy Sherman, as well as emerging contemporary artists.
The two-story, 27,000sf museum provides open, flexible space for exhibitions and programs while emphasizing transparency and connection at ground level. The building is formed by two intersecting ribbons of concrete and stainless steel mesh that weave and overlap to define the principal volumes. The lower walls bound the museum and create a series of large interconnecting galleries. The upper walls span above the galleries and define spaces for administration and education. Between these walls, ceiling planes are held at varying heights to create variations in scale, proportion and enclosure, providing a diversity of curatorial opportunities.
This building is a simultaneous act of enclosure and invitation, allowing the landscape to flow through the entire site, while tenuously capturing and containing rooms for art. The museum is not a privileged domain, but an open field that concentrates the forces of the city in preparation for later occupation by the artists.
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