About the Building


Over the past 130 years, strategic acquisitions by the Museum and magnificent gifts from local benefactors created a collection that placed the Museum among the top ten comprehensive art museums in the country. As the collection grew over the years, however, it outgrew the Main Building built for the 1904 World’s Fair. With more than 200,000 square feet, the East Building increases the Museum's public space by 30 percent and adds 21 new galleries in total, for both collection and temporary exhibitions.

In addition to providing the increased gallery space needed to showcase a growing collection, additional parking, and expanded education facilities, the design for the new East Building includes extensive improvements that address essential infrastructure deficiencies that have challenged the institution for more than a century.

The East Building is an addition to the east and south of the Museum’s Main 1904 Cass Gilbert-designed building, featuring skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows which invite views from both inside and outside. It has a dark, polished concrete façade incorporating Missouri river aggregates.

A new Grand Stair connects the Museum's main and lower levels, providing a seamless transition that leads to a Level 1 Concourse, a new 60-seat Cafe, the renovated Museum Shop, the Farrell Auditorium, and access to the new Parking Garage. On Level 2 of the East Building, visitors will find Panorama, a new 2,500 square-foot restaurant, which seats 100, and features a dramatic overlook of Art Hill.

The East Building was awarded Gold LEED Status by the U. S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and recognizes responsible design and construction practices.


Emerson Plaza
The East Building is served by a fully accessible entrance; floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views, both inside and out.
Stone Sea
Stone Sea, a site-specific commission by world-renowned British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, is situated in a Courtyard adjoining the Main and new East buildings.
Taylor Hall
An innovative, coffered ceiling is one of the East Building's most distinctive features. The coffers provide natural light to collection galleries and public spaces, giving visitors a dynamic viewing experience as light changes with outdoor conditions.
Outdoor Sculpture
Landscaping for the expanded Museum campus is being approached in phases, following a design by landscape architect Michel Desvigne. The first phase, completed in June 2013, included outdoor sculpture, restoration of grass, and planting of trees and shrubs as well as additional landscape elements. The second and third phases will include more extensive landscaping, including a fully realized Sculpture Garden.


David Chipperfield
British architect Sir David Chipperfield was appointed unanimously by Museum commissioners in 2005 to design the expansion of the historic Cass Gilbert-designed building in Forest Park.

David Chipperfield was born in 1953 in London, and studied at Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association. After graduating he worked at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers, and Norman Foster. In 1985, he established David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) in London.

DCA has won some of Europe's most prestigious honors. In 2007, Chipperfield was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Chipperfield in 2010 in recognition of his services to architecture in both the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2012, Chipperfield directed the 13th International Architecture Exhibition for the Venice Biennale.

David Chipperfield was Professor of Architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart from 1995 to 2001, and Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University in 2011; he also has taught and lectured at schools of architecture in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Michel Desvigne, Landscape Architect
Michel Desvigne was appointed as landscape architect in December 2006. Desvigne is one of the most high-profile landscape architects working today. He has collaborated with architects Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, I M Pei, Herzog and de Meuron, and Jean Nouvel. Based in Paris, Desvigne has taught at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Desvigne's projects include the French Ministry of Culture in Paris; Millennium Park in London's Greenwich Peninsula; several modern art museums' gardens – Utrecht (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), and Parc Drai (Luxembourg); and, more recently, a project at the Keio University in Tokyo. Desvigne's projects in the U.S. include the Dallas Centre for Performing Arts and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In 2011 he was awarded the French Grand prix de l'Urbanisme.
Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Architect of Record
To learn more about Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabuam, click here.
Rise Group, Project Manager
To learn more about Rise Group, click here.
Tarlton/Pepper/KAI Joint Venture, General Contractor
To learn more about Tarlton/Pepper/KAI Joint Venture, click here.
For a complete list of the members of the Expansion Project Team, click here.
Opened June 29, 2013