Building the Future

In 2017, Washington University in St. Louis began one of the most significant capital projects in the recent history of the Danforth Campus: the transformation of the East End. The $280 million project creates a new front door for the University, strengthens academic connections, enhances campus green space and circulation, improves parking and accessibility, and better frames iconic Brookings Hall. The transformation also improves links between the Danforth Campus and the adjacent, 1,300-acre Forest Park.

Two key components of the East End transformation include major projects for the Sam Fox School: the construction of Anabeth and John Weil Hall, and the expansion of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, both designed by the internationally acclaimed architecture firm KieranTimberlake. Details about these two projects are featured below, and highlighted in this news release. All renderings © KieranTimberlake/StudioAMD.

Visit campusnext.wustl.edu for additional details about the plan to transform the east end of the Danforth Campus and project updates, as well as information about how to get around campus.

Media Coverage

The Architect's Newspaper: KieranTimberlake's vision for Washington University to open this fall
Artforum: Expanded Kemper Art Museum to Reopen in September
St. Louis Magazine: The Kemper is reopening this fall with a blockbuster exhibit: 'Ai Weiwei: Bare Life'
St. Louis Public Radio: Ai Weiwei Exhibition To Open Expanded Kemper Art Museum In September

Anabeth and John Weil Hall

Opening in fall 2019, Anabeth and John Weil Hall will house over 82,000 square feet for programs, including state-of-the-art graduate studios, classrooms, and digital fabrication spaces. With its ambitious design, abundant natural light, and flexible, loft-style studios and workspaces, the building will be a new locus for teaching, study, creation and critique.

The addition of Weil Hall to the Sam Fox School campus will make it possible, for the first time in recent history, to unite our programs in architecture, art, and design and ensure critical adjacencies for all of our students and faculty to the world-class resources of Washington University.

Weil Hall Commons & the Ralph J. Nagel Dean's Suite

Weil Hall Commons will welcome visitors and provide the entire Sam Fox School community with an inspiring space for meeting, working, or relaxing. The Weil Project Wall will activate the space and feature new commissioned works by alumni each year. With an open central staircase and a glass wall overlooking the relocated Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden and Ann and Andrew Tisch Park, the Commons will be a dynamic space for organized and incidental interactions. The Ralph J. Nagel Dean's Suite will offer a central destination for prospective students in art, architecture, and design and their families.

MArch, MUD, MLA Studios

The William A. Bernoudy Architecture Studio will accommodate 84 graduate students; a similar studio holding 60 student desks will be located on the second floor. These studios will flank the Kuehner Family Court, allowing natural light to suffuse the spaces while facilitating connections across disciplines. To foster collaboration, the studios will feature group worktables and multiple pinup and critique spaces.

MFA Studios

Across the south side of Weil Hall's second and third floors, 30 individual, 180-square-foot studios will support MFA in Visual Art students' work across media while providing direct access to the facilities in Walker and Bixby Halls, plus the resources of the Kemper Art Museum and Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library. Installation spaces throughout the studios will allow students to convene for critiques, student-curated exhibitions, and impromptu gatherings.

Roxanne H. Frank Design Studio

This 2,600-square-foot studio space will be the center of design activity in Weil Hall. The flexible and open space will accommodate 24 students, with pinup and critique spaces as well as a printing hub. The studio will be home to the new Master of Fine Arts in Illustration & Visual Culture program.

Caleres Digital Fabrication Studio

This 3,000-square-foot central space will be both the physical and conceptual heart of Weil Hall. Here, students and faculty can execute complex projects using state-of-the-art tools like the CNC mill, laser cutters, and 3D printers. Additional space will be available for using basic hand tools and assembling projects. This central makerspace will connect to an outdoor working court through oversized doors.

Kuehner Family Court

The luminous, two-story Kuehner Family Court will feature a living green wall, skylights, and glass walls that allow for visual connectivity between studio spaces, providing students with a feeling of simultaneity and participation in a larger community. The 2,500-square-foot space will offer a comfortable lounge and workspace for students, faculty, and visitors.

News story: Courtyard Honors Family’s Love for Art, Architecture>>

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Expansion

A striking new 34-foot-tall polished stainless-steel facade will draw visitors to the expanded Kemper Art Museum, where public display space will increase by nearly 50 percent. The building's pleated surface will reflect the dynamic movement of campus and sky, sparking curiosity and inviting interaction.

Entering the Museum, visitors will encounter a soaring glass-lined lobby where a dramatic new installation by artist Tomás Saraceno will be suspended overhead. The new 2,700-square-foot James M. Kemper Gallery, with its double-height walls, will showcase a range of post-war and contemporary art. On the second floor, the reconfigured Gertrude Bernoudy Gallery will provide an intimate viewing experience for major 19th- and early 20th-century European and American works.

Other renovations—led by Escher GuneWardena Architecture in partnership with Trivers—will include a first-floor coffee bar and a suite of new galleries on the lower level where visitors will be able to enjoy works on paper; video art; an expanded Teaching Gallery; and the new Stair Gallery, highlighting seldom-seen historical objects from the collection.

Outside, the reinstalled Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden will extend the Museum's reach into the surrounding, park-like setting. Situated just north of Weil Hall, along a primary pedestrian thoroughfare, the sculpture garden will feature iconic sculptures such as Auguste Rodin’s The Shade and Alexander Calder's Five Rudders as well as a new commission by acclaimed contemporary artist Dan Graham.

KieranTimberlake

KieranTimberlake is an internationally acclaimed architecture firm with a portfolio of beautifully crafted, thoughtfully made buildings that are holistically integrated to site, program and people. Founded in 1984, the 100-person practice is recognized worldwide with prestigious design awards, publications and exhibitions. The firm's transdisciplinary approach integrates the expertise of architects, researchers and communicators to create innovative, compelling and award-winning projects for academic, art, cultural, government, and civic institutions throughout North America and overseas.

KieranTimberlake led the design of several components of Washington University's East End transformation project: Anabeth and John Weil Hall, the expansion of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center, and the Craig and Nancy Schnuck Pavilion, all in partnership with Tao + Lee; as well as an underground parking garage, designed with BNIM.

Classroom Lessons

Graduate architecture students in the Sam Fox School have an invaluable learning experience right outside their door: They are learning lessons in construction during the East End Transformation Project. Listen to remarks from students Nitish Bhat, Chen Hu, and Amanda Malone, along with Valerie Tswuntsone Greer, professor of practice, in this video.

News Stories

Illuminating the East End: Nasim Daryaee, MArch15/MCM/15, project engineer with McCarthy Building Companies
On the Meaning of Trees: “One Tree Project” earns ASLA award, October 22, 2018>>
Walker Lot: What's happening here?", March 22, 2018>>
Thinking differently: Tiwari tackles sustainability issues, March 22, 2018>>
Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of university’s east end transformation project, May 11, 2017>>
Designs Shared for East End of Danforth Campus, October 11, 2016>>
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to Expand, October 10, 2016>>
Transforming the East End of the Danforth Campus, Jessica Martin, October 5, 2015>>
Architect Named for Weil Hall, Sam Fox School, April 13, 2015>>