Accessible Design Goals
The Museum expansion, exhibits, and Arch grounds have been designed to utilize the core principles of Universal Design, which are founded on equal or equivalent means of use for all visitors and staff, and exceeds the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) These guidelines have been instrumental in creating an environment which is as simple and intuitive to use as possible, while also drastically reducing physical and attitudinal barriers to all users. The typical experience by users of all abilities will be enhanced by an environment which is more comfortable to use and thus encourages increased daily use and re-visitation.
The project is currently targeting LEED Gold certification. Some highlights of the sustainable design features include:
- The overall landscape and building intervention re-establishes the arch, park and museum’s connection to downtown St. Louis and adjacent metro connections, thus encouraging visitors to utilize public transit in lieu of automobile transport.
- The majority of the expanded Visitors Center is located below the greater park landscape, resulting in lower energy consumption and higher thermal efficiency throughout the year. (LEED SS Credit 7.2,) This also drastically reduces the Heat Island Effect, as 98.5% of the building’s roof is vegetated.
- The expanded Visitors Center and Museum adaptively re-uses and reconfigures the original below-grade facility as part of the new design. (LEED MR Credit 1.1)
- The majority of public spaces incorporate high-efficiency, high life cycle LED lighting that is discreetly tunable, to support a wide range of programmatic uses.
- Low flow water fixtures have been selected to reduce the overall project’s potable water usage by over 31% from the baseline.