Missouri Botanical Garden, Stephen & Peter Sachs Museum Renovation & Addition
St. Louis, Missouri
The original 7,000 square foot museum is a Georgian structure, built in 1859 for the purpose of housing the Garden’s original library, herbarium and natural history specimens. After being closed to the public for over 35 years, this historic gem underwent a major restoration and addition. Due to significant accessibility issues, the addition provides better access to the museum and expanded restroom facilities. The restoration and addition project also provides a meeting venue for weddings, exhibitions, presentations and business meetings.
The first objective was the restoration of the historic interior. The work included replicating the original painted ceiling and restoring the Fresco portraits discovered during construction. Working with the Botanical Garden and the National Park Service, it was deemed important that the addition respond to the simplicity of the original building, but also be distinct and contextual.
The 2,150 square foot addition is designed with a contemporary use of stone, distinguishing it from the existing building and reflecting current building technologies and materiality. A glass volume creates a formal entry on the north façade while the south façade is comprised of a modern limestone finish. The limestone masses define transparent entries both on the north and south facades. As a whole, the addition is simple, yet unique; providing much-needed access and facilities in a building that subtly complements the original historic structure.