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Citygarden - An urban oasis in downtown St. Louis

Studio|Durham Architects designed the only two buildings that reside in Citygarden: a maintenance structure for the landscaping personnel, their tools and vehicles, and a small security office; and a 60-seat café where visitors can eat, drink, relax, and look out over the garden.

These buildings were designed to complement the look and feel of the rest of the garden. We employed green roof systems on both buildings to improve the views of the structures from the many high-rise buildings that surround the site, and to contribute to rainwater capture and conservation efforts used throughout Citygarden.

The maintenance building was designed to blend seamlessly into the forms of the overall garden. With this in mind, it was built as an attachment to the back of the large stone-block arc wall that is the major design element connecting the two city blocks of the site.

The café design process began by studying a series of form options that reacted to the forms used throughout the garden. The glass box solution was inspired by the work of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The final scheme is based on the contrast between a solid stone-clad block that holds the kitchen, and a glass volume with a large steel trellis structure that cantilevers from the enclosed space asymmetrically in reaction to the solar orientation, and provides some protection to the terrace around the café. The stone-clad block also provides a mount for Femmes au Perroquet, the large bronze relief sculpted by Fernand Léger.