A Walk in the Park

A unique cantilevered, angled design creates a tiered curtainwall scheme, broken up by large metal plates, at the 36-story 100 Above the Park residential tower.

As Studio Gang’s first commission in St. Louis, the 316-unit high-rise overlooks Forest Park and the famous Gateway Arch.

Thanks to the building’s unique massing, this creates an open rooftop experience for the many residential balconies created by the cantilevered curtainwall and architectural metal design.

“This project’s tiering—where every four or five stories it flares out and then comes back in—dramatically increases the number of places where people can be outside on what feels like a rooftop deck, because you don’t have another extended platform right above you,” stated David Fields, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, senior principal, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, in an Informed Infrastructure article.

In addition, the leaf-shaped facade, a nod to Forest Park, and tiered massing improves the building’s performance by providing self-shading and cross ventilation, thereby reducing the overall energy load and boosting occupant comfort. 

Enhancing the glass curtainwall aesthetic are panels of Lorin ClearMatt Architectural Class 1 anodized aluminum. In all, 100,000 pounds of aluminum were used for the Green Globes-certified building.

As to why metal cladding was selected for this project recognized with a 2022 MCA Design Award in the Single Skin Panels category, Phil Pearce, vice president, global sales and marketing, Lorin Industries, Holland, Mich., explains it was “for the highly-reflective, but diffuse look and its proven ability to retain these exceptional aesthetic qualities for decades to come with minimal maintenance.”

To ensure safety during metal panel installation, the contractor Clayco performed daily inspections of the swing-stage rigging and required every crew member to undergo task-specific training. Each move was carefully planned and each swing stage for the metal panels had to be moved approximately 150 times.

To optimize the curtainwall design and installation, life-size mockups helped the team to visualize window slopes and how they would transition with the units’ vertical terraces. This was based off of a 3D model of the slab edges and GPS data to layout the decks from the project’s MKA-created design drawings. Another model was created to assess forces such as wind, seismic and gravity, and evaluate how stress is distributed throughout the building’s structural frame down to its foundations.

Each apartment in the 85-foot-tall, 518,000-square-foot residential tower features its own corner living room with double exposures for panoramic views and maximized daylighting. Multiple green roofs collect and store rain water for irrigation and reduce storm water runoff.

“The scalloped façade and leaf-shaped plan of the 100 enable natural light and fresh air into every apartment, optimizing performance while making beautiful spaces on the interior,” stated Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner, Studio Gang. 

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