A consortium led by New York landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) — the firm responsible for redesigning Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House — has won a competition to reshape the grounds of the St. Louis Arch.
The contest, The City+The Arch+The River 2015, pitted Van Valkenburgh against some of the biggest names in design today; the other four finalists were made up of teams that included Foster + Partners, Behnisch Architekten, Peter Walker and Partners, SOM, Bjarke Ingels Group, and Pentagram.
The winning proposal involves sprucing the area around the Arch and shoring up its connections to the city. A planted deck over Interstate 70, which cuts off the Arch from downtown St. Louis, is planned. Additional features include an amphitheater, a bird sanctuary intersected by an elevated walkway, and an outdoor ice rink that turns into a beer garden in the summer. See the complete plan here. The project is expected to be finished by 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of the topping of the Arch.