The imposing Chase Park Plaza rises to the east of Saint Louis’ Forest Park, site of the 1904 World’s Fair and Summer Olympic Games. For many years a hotel-only property, the late 1990s brought a redevelopment that transformed over half the livable square footage into luxury condominiums. Most recently, its ongoing makeovers have served as a catalyst for other residential tower development in the adjacent Central West End, a vibrant district with a European sensibility. The building owners believed that the 1929 Art Deco-style structure needed to have a greater nighttime presence on the Park and serve as a majestic, soaring entry into the neighborhoods over which it loomed.
As the selected lighting design team, RBLD spent nearly a year documenting and studying the immense structure to determine how to best portray it in an elegant, sophisticated and stately fashion. Sensitivities of light encroachment into residential windows and terraces, sky glow, and a client desire to minimize energy use, limited design concept and implementation options. The resultant scheme exceeded all of the owner’s wishes with its careful, yet astute use of light to celebrate the architecture’s grandeur while remaining a good neighbor to both building occupants and the surrounding community.