St. Louis likes red. We love our Cardinals. We love our brick.
Examples of our two loves sit side by side downtown. Right next to Busch Stadium is the Cupples Station Warehouse District, one of the grandest, most majestic concentrations of red in the city. Originally built in the 1880s by hardware magnate Samuel Cupples, the 20-building complex is conveniently located next to the Mill Creek rail lines to make shipping efficient. And these weren’t little buildings, either — each was in the neighborhood of 150,000 square feet. After the tragic demolition of Cupples 7 in 2013, only eight of the massive buildings are left. In 2011, the Koman Group began renovation on the 184,000 square foot Cupples 9, a structure that had been vacant for 20 years. They hired us as the Core/Shell Architect, and we selected furnishings, art, and accessories in the public areas in addition to our architectural services.
For being such a red building on the outside, the inside is all green: the project earned LEED Silver Certification. The building is currently 99% leased with most tenants signing long-term leases.
The exposed brick and heavy timber structure represents natural elements to anchor the infusion of new construction into the building. Existing interior brick shaft enclosures (originally housing for freight elevators and stairs) contain new stairs creating vertical circulation, while former vault rooms have been converted into multi-purpose spaces for the commercial lobby area and tenants on associated floors. The existing building details serve as the basis of design and influence throughout the project. Large steel trusses that suspend floors over the former rail spur are now exposed as architectural features. The canopies situated at the west entrance and eastern outdoor patio (a former loading dock) reflect the trusses’ design and function. Existing tongue and groove wood flooring has been salvaged and re-used as the predominant floor material in the first floor public lobby spaces.
Preserve Missouri Award 2014, Landmarks Association of St. Louis’ 2013 Most Enhanced Award
1023 Spruce Street
St. Louis, MO 63102