Inside Jeanne Gang's One Hundred Above the Park
A new icon for the Central West End and the City of St. Louis has been born, and it brings big city flair with it.
Stacked cups. The flower tower. The bloomin’ onion. The magazine rack. A stack of Chinese takeout containers. St. Louis's Taipei 101. Whatever you call it, One Hundred Above the Park (shortened to "One Hundred") is a new St. Louis and Central West End landmark to be individually interpreted by many. Rising 36-stories and 386' above the sprawling Forest Park and the West Pine and Kingshighway intersection, the Jeanne Gang designed skyscraper has firmly cemented its place among the greatest buildings built in the City of St. Louis since the 1930s. It joins the ranks of the Continental Life Building (1930), the Jewel Box (1936), the Pulitzer Arts Museum (2001), and the Gateway Arch (1965) as icons of the City of St. Louis from the '30s-Present Day.
According to architect Jeanne Gang, "the scalloped façade and leaf-shaped plan of One Hundred enable natural light and fresh air into every apartment, optimizing performance while making beautiful spaces on the interior." The concept is one of many unique designs that World renowned, and Chicago-based, architecture firm Studio Gang has been working on over the past several years. One Hundred, and it's sister property in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, Solstice on the Park, utilize Studio Gang's "Solar Carve" concept to maximize efficiency and cross ventilation. The concept has also been applied to the Solar Carve building in New York City. Images of "Solstice on the Park" and "Solar Carve" are available at the end of the story.
When the building was unveiled in December 2016, it caught the attention of architecture blogs and architecture buffs across the nation and the world. That was expected since this was a Jeanne Gang designed building, who is perhaps the most significant Woman architect in the world and ranks alongside the late Zaha Hadid. The blogs and websites mentioning One Hundred focused on the tiered and jagged design of the building. Back at home, people were comparing it to the things I mentioned at the beginning of the story. Others pointed out on the Skyscraper Page Forum that they were getting some Art-Deco vibes from this building. No matter what, the day the project was announced was the day many of us knew it would become an architectural landmark for the City of St. Louis and the Central West End neighborhood.
For the Central West End itself, One Hundred is the jewel in the crown of the 2010-2020 development cycle, which brought hundreds of new apartments to the neighborhood, a Whole Foods grocery store, the region’s first Shake Shack, and a renewed BJC Healthcare complex among other things. Like the Park East Tower in 2007, the skyline of the Central West End has been changed and shows residents of, and visitors to, St. Louis that the Central West End is the hottest and most resilient neighborhood in the City limits.
One Hundred is visible from many places throughout the City and County. Personally, I’ve seen the building from North St. Louis near I-70, crossing the Stan Musial Bridge into Missouri, from I-44 in the central corridor but also on a curve in Webster Groves, from I-64 heading East alongside Forest Park and heading West on the section from 14th to Boyle, from the Lindbergh overpass over I-55 in South County, from Lindell at Spring in Midtown, and from Manchester Road near Rock Hill Road in the central county.
At the ground level, One Hundred’s unique design is pulled down creating unique areas in the “scoops” of the facade. A small retail space is also included on the West Pine side of the building to act as a bridge between the Central West End and Forest Park. A pilates studio has signed a lease with the intention to open in the first half of 2021. Some landscaping will be done down here to further act as a bridge between city and nature.
One Hundred as seen from Rock Hill Missouri, and the Lindell and Spring intersection.
Construction commenced in February 2018 at a ceremony attended by Mayor Lyda Krewson, Alderman Joseph Roddy (17th Ward), Eli Ungar of Mac Properties, and about 100 other people. A time capsule with letters, money, photos, business cards, and more was sealed this day and has been placed somewhere into the building for safe keeping. The time capsule will be opened in 2118 on the 100th anniversary of the commencement of construction. For the past 31 months, St. Louisans have watched One Hundred go from a parking lot to a 36-story, aluminum and glass clad icon. And from day 1, many people knew that 100 Above the Park would give residents the experience of living on New York City’s Billionaire’s Row overlooking Central Park without the Billionaire’s Row prices and with a view of Forest Park.
On the first floor of One Hundred, visitors and residents are greeted to a lobby that has an Art Deco vibe. High-ceilings, terrazzo flooring, and dark marble accenting on the vestibule and front desk greet visitors. To the left of the front desk are the mailboxes, which sit in brown jagged walls with accent lighting, and themselves are bronze in color, as well as a bright sitting area. These colors and features contrast nicely to the white paint, white terrazzo flooring, and large windows looking out onto the sidewalk and Kingshighway. To the right of the front desk is the leasing office, which features a hardwood floor, sitting area, and a curved wall that gives me a Mid-Century vibe.
To the back of the lobby is a doorway to the parking garage and a doorway to the elevator lobby, which was still being worked on. The first residents have moved into floors 7-14, so we ran into a few of them along the way to the model unit.
Upon walking into the model unit, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on the 13th floor overlooking Forest Park, you’re immediately drawn to the windows. Expansive and unobstructed views of Forest Park and everything West of Kingshighway greets you along with a flood of natural light. While the units already have generous ceiling heights, the slanted facade of the building makes the space feel taller and more open. Walking down the hallway, you have one bedroom immediately past the living/kitchen area, a bathroom on the right side, and then a door into the main bedroom at the end of the hallway, which features its own walk-in closet, bathroom, and wall of windows. The unit, like all others at One Hundred, features a washer and dryer.
We then walked down the hall and checked out a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit that had views of both the Central Corridor and of Forest Park. This was my personal favorite for that reason. The best of both worlds in one unit. In this unit, I analyzed the kitchen more than anything else. The cabinets and drawers are soft close, the refrigerator is a generous size, and the backsplash contrasts nicely with the wood cabinets and wood floors of the unit. Down a hallway, you have your bedroom, which has an amazing view of the Central Corridor, and your full bathroom as well as a closet with the washer and dryer in it. I will admit, even though this is a model unit, I liked the blue and white paint throughout the unit. It made the unit feel just that much better.
One thing to note about the units is that they all have corner living rooms. The unique design of One Hundred provides this desirable feature in every unit.
Units like this do not come cheap with rent starting at $1930 for a 590sf studio unit. The most expensive unit is a 3 bedroom with views of the City and Forest Park. Rent for that is $6485 per month. But with the numerous amenities offered, great views, great build quality, and neighborhood, the prices make sense.
Heading down to the 7th floor, which is the amenity level, features a full fitness center with treadmills, weights, elliptical, stair stepper, rower, stationary bike, and a “mirror” for exercise with a virtual human. Across the hallway from the fitness center was a bright and airy business center with plenty of tables and chairs for residents to set up shop to get some work done. This room also featured a conference room for residents to use as well as access to the 7th floor terrace. Elsewhere on this floor, there is access to the decently sized pool deck, game room, party room, three apartments, and more.
Another amenity, but it’s in the parking garage though, is a dog wash and grooming station along with bike storage.
The first residents began moving into One Hundred on September 1st, but for those wondering, don’t expect the apartments to be switched over to condominiums anytime soon. In regard to Airbnbs, since I've been asked about them, One Hundred will not have any. This is a similar trend being seen at other new high-rise luxury apartment buildings in St. Louis City and County (most notably, One Cardinal Way), so it’s not entirely surprising. As is the case at the other apartment buildings, it’s a security issue.
Additional apartment units will become available throughout October and November.
One Hundred Above the Park is a fitting addition to the Eastern street wall of Forest Park and a fitting addition to the skyline of the Central West End. As time goes on, it will be seen whether residents of varying ages and backgrounds decide to call this little piece of New York City home.
All I can say though is that St. Louis is lucky to have One Hundred. It’s an icon built to last and reflect the city around it. It’s a building that uses new technologies to achieve efficiency in more ways than one. It sits in a neighborhood where you can get around without ever having to need a car. And it becomes the tallest building in St. Louis, and the State of Missouri, designed by a Woman architect, Jeanne Gang. We have a new piece of history built right here in St. Louis by one of the world's greatest architects. It’s truly special.
For more on One Hundred, visit their website at: https://www.liveat100.com.
I'll admit, when the first rendering was released in December 2016, I was skeptical. The design was unlike anything we've seen before in St. Louis and that didn't really sit well with me. As the days and weeks went by, the design grew onto me and I came to love it. This is a building that is unique only to St. Louis. It's an icon now and will be for generations to come. I'm honored to have toured this building and am glad to have watched it rise above Forest Park and the Central West End. St. Louis should be proud to have gotten a building like this. There are many great cities in this country, and world, that do not have a Jeanne Gang designed skyscraper or building.
St. Louis ranks up there with Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Paris, London, Taipei, and other smaller cities and towns throughout the nation and world. That, in itself, is a big achievement in my view. I'd also like to point out Mac Properties' ambition for proposing and building this tower in St. Louis. They've now made their mark on the skyline and streetscape and I can't wait to see what they do next.
Additional Photos and Video…
Below are some additional photos that I took during my tours of One Hundred Above the Park. The video includes no narration and shows the building from several angles before showing off the lobby and model units. Photos feature captions.
Solstice + Solar Carve
Below are photos of One Hundred’s “sister” properties in Chicago and New York. Photo of Solstice courtesy of Mac Properties. Photo of Solar Carve courtesy of Tom Harris and Dezeen.
Developer: Mac Properties
Architect: Studio Gang
Cost: $130 Million
Materials: Concrete, Glass, and Aluminum