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First Look: Sharp Apartment Building Could Join Trampe's and Pulitzer's Olive West

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architects.

As the Olive West housing development gains 4 model homes of varying design styles, the West end of the development site is preparing to receive a 4-story apartment building designed by world renowned, and Los Angeles California based, architect Michael Maltzan. Maltzan's studio is known for designing buildings of a design that seems like a mix of brutalist, modernist and mid-century architecture. The studio's design for the apartment building, which they are calling "On Olive", is no different.

The conceptual, but angular design of the building will surely become an icon if built complete since the only comparison to this building would be the Spire Headquarters in Downtown at 8th and Market. But as said before, "On Olive" will feature Michael Maltzan's signature design style (I've included renderings of the studio's other projects at the end of this story for readers to get a feel of what to expect here).

Based on previous schematics seen, and that I've attached at the end of this story, the new building is supposed to be connected to the Wolfner Building. Further, the building will not feature any ground floor retail space but will feature a partially below-grade parking garage. As a result of the parking garage, plans show a blank wall facing Vandeventer and Olive Street that will stand roughly 6ft In height. While not ideal, this allows the building to be level with Wolfner's first floor and pushes apartments off of the street level of Vandeventer. The parking garage would be accessed from the Olive-Westminster alley on the Southside of the building.

Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architects.

This version of "On Olive" features a total of 35 apartment units spread out over two buildings with 20 of these units being one bedroom units and the other 15 being two bedroom units. The total amount of parking in this development goals out to be 47 spaces.

As Michael Maltzan Architects puts it...

"The apartment buildings sit on a shared podium and parking, interlocking with one another, creating a series of intimate courtyards and a unified composition. The public corridors and units fold back and forth around the shared outdoor spaces, affording a variety of different perspectives. This design results in a series of unique, loft-like one and two-bedroom apartments with ceiling heights in some units of more than 12’ and large windows that ensure comfortable, light-filled living spaces."

According to the construction bidding website, BidClerk, the project has an estimated state date sometime in November, but it will more than likely begin after that. Further, BidClerk gives the estimated cost of the apartment complex to be $25 Million.

Courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architects.

When the City of St. Louis Planning Commission reviewed the Planned Unit Development plan in July 2019, it was noted that the apartment building was still in design and could change depending on code requirements. However, the basic massing and form factor would remain the same. Michael Maltzan Architecture tweeted a link out to their website regarding "On Olive" in early August 2020.

The greater Olive West development will consist of 27 single-family houses designed by multiple architects mostly from Central America. Those architects include...

  • Tatiana Bilbao Estudio - Mexico City (Master Plan + Home Design)

  • Productora Architects - Mexico City (Home Design)

  • Estudio Marcias Peredo - Guadalajara, Mexico (Home Design)

  • MOS Architecture - New York City (Home Design)

In between each of these 27 houses will be nicely landscaped courtyards. The development spans both the North and South sides of Olive Street between Vandeventer and Spring. The Northside of the street will apparently take on a more traditional style of home placement and will include 10 of the 27 houses. Garages will be placed along the alleys. The Dielmann-Sotheby's Halterman Stix Group is the firm that will market and sell the homes.

Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

The site plan below shows both the North and South sides of the street as well as the "On Olive" apartment building.

The picture below shows off construction progress on the 4 model homes designed by different architects (Tatiana Bilbao, Productora, Estudio Marcias Peredo, and MOS. Architects). Each of the model homes are unique in design. The close proximity to each other creates a good amount of density.

The Olive West project is a significant step in the transformation of the Grand Center neighborhood. It's the first single family development built in the neighborhood in decades and could set a benchmark for future single family infill in the neighborhood. In addition to this, the collaboration of multiple renowned architecture firms on this project gives potential owners and renters the chance of living in architecturally significant modern homes and apartments.

Below are examples of Michael Maltzan designed buildings. For more examples of the firm's style of architecture, visit their website: The rendering at the end of the gallery is of the MOS Architecture (NYC) designed house that they're calling "House with Two Chimneys".

Below are the schematics and floor plans from the PUD document.

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