By Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The long-awaited grand opening for the Saint Louis Art Museum’s new East Building is Saturday morning, with a ribbon-cutting set for 9:30 a.m.

The $162 million, 200,000 square foot expansion was designed by renowned British architect David Chipperfield, with support from St. Louis-based HOK. It boasts an underground parking garage with 300 spaces, the 100 seat Panorama restaurant with sweeping views of Art Hill, and a 60 seat casual dining café.

The sleek stone-glass and black-white building stands in stark contrast to the stately Cass Gilbert-designed Main Building, built as an exhibition hall for the 1904 World’s Fair. The extra space allows for more of the Museum’s extensive collection of contemporary works to be displayed, including some that the public hasn’t seen in at least two decades.

Much of the addition is naturally lit through skylights above the coffered concrete ceiling, although the shades are kept drawn in areas with delicate displays.

The Main and East Buildings are bridged by Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone Sea, which was commissioned by the Museum. Goldsworthy used roughly cut Missouri limestone to construct twenty-five arches, each ten feet high.

For a schedule of Saturday’s events, click here.

LISTEN – KMOX’s Michael Calhoun spoke with architect Chipperfield:

The "Abstract Expressionism" exhibit inside the Saint Louis Art Museum's new East Building, as seen during a preview tour on June 28, 2013. (Photo by Daniel Johnson for KMOX Radio)

Click for more photos

KMOX © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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