Blending History with Modernity
The challenge was to develop a store concept that would support exceptionally strong foot traffic (more than 2.8 million visitors annually) in a beautiful and compelling way. The store was to be built for flexibility and high volume, framed in a timeless design that would complement the iconic Eero Saarinen–designed facility in which it resides. We chose to design a store that offers a versatile space for interpretive retailing, focused on the presentation of products that tell the many stories related to the museum’s themes.
The design of the 4,000-square-foot store features six ceiling “clouds,” creating unique areas for the display of products dedicated to themes such as the American West, the early days of St. Louis, and the building of The Arch. The Arch Store also honors the monument’s 1960s origins, with items such as the iconic Eero Saarinen–designed Tulip chair and table, Eames stacking cards, and new mid-century modern architectural books. And, in the back of the store is an old-fashioned, homemade- fudge counter, a long-standing tradition of the store at the Gateway Arch.