St. Louis, MO 63103
2020 American Institute of Architects
St. Louis Honor Award for Small Projects
From the outset, High Low had a mission to elevate the power of words. Throughout the design, we worked with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation to reimagine this building as a current, connected, and compelling facility that would serve as the backdrop for the art and artists they hoped to attract. The result of this thoughtfully-budgeted work is a multifunctional building that provides a well-curated coffee house, offices for local arts non-profits, work spaces for visiting artists, and performance space for spoken and visual arts.
Most recently a storage facility, 3301 Washington was originally built as Oliver Cadillac, and after a few years, Mosby Printing – a publisher of medical textbooks – moved in. With a history rooted in books, this building seemed like the perfect spot for such a literary organization.
The design embraced the natural beauty of the building: board-formed concrete ceilings, white walls, and new windows to illuminate it all. The first floor café features a lending library for both function and décor, and a pair of custom-built tables inspired by James Baldwin’s Welcome Table, the table around which he entertained guests in his own home. (Read more about their design and craft here.)
The event space was designed with flexibility in mind. A prominent bar offers a spot for refreshments and high seating, while the rest of the space can easily accommodate a poetry reading, concert, or reception.
Upstairs, spaces are simply and elegantly partitioned by glass storefront and bookshelves. The Writers’ Studio spans the south portion of the space, its walnut cubicles bathed in natural light. Nonprofit offices and a conference room line the east wall, and additional rentable corral-style desks are in a communal area adjacent to the kitchenette