Michael Van Valkenburgh Wins Commission to Redevelop St. Louis Arch Grounds

Has it been more than nine months already? Back in the icy haze of early December, the planned September announcement of who would win the competition to design and develop the new grounds surrounding St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch seemed like but a distant, science-fiction-y future. But here we are. Although originally intended to be announced this Friday, word slipped out and so the organizers behind “Framing a Modern Masterpiece” were forced to make the statement early that landscape starchitect, Michael Van Valkenburgh, who is quickly becoming the next Frederick Olmsted, has won the competition (pdf). His plan, with help from a team that includes Steven Holl and New York’s High Line-adjacent designer James Carpenter, includes a massive new riverfront park as well as public gathering spots along the way (you can check it all out below in the video the team made for the competition). The project will continued to be documented through construction and the clock is now ticking for Valkenburgh, as St. Louis and the National Park Service is hoping to have everything finished by October 28th, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the completion of Eero Saarinen‘s Arch.