The Globe Building Lobby Revitalization

When we first saw the building, we immediately identified that the building has very good bones. The ability of this building to adapt to its new users and the new century, so to speak, is really high.

Originally, the building was designed for the railroad industry and subsequently was acquired as a facility for a very prominent newspaper in the city, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Given the fact that the building at one point had been conceived to have 10 more additional floors, the building has a very prominent structure, which shows very important spatial and aesthetic features. In some cases, the presence of a structure is absolutely stunning.

The most important aspect is clearly the lobby. The lobby was designed with the Art Deco style. It's very obvious and very apparent, and it is really a timepiece that has to be sort of celebrated. At the same time, for today's uses, the building entrance needs to be updated, among other things because it lacks enough light. On that note, we are completely aware that we have to preserve the sort of historical quality of the lobby by being very careful as to what we plan to do in order to update it.

There are two main things that we are going to do. One, we are going to put a stainless steel floor that will not be adhered to the existing terrazzo floor, and it will be done like this. This is a mock-up we've done originally to actually explore how we could do it without really affecting at all the existing terrazzo floor. It is on this backer board, and then the stainless is put on top, and it will eventually be easy to remove it, to simply lift it and take it away. The intent is to convey a sense of contemporaneity and lightness and high tech that we believe is going to immediately send a message to the people that visit the building, as well as the people that occupy it for these new uses.

The walls, which are very beautiful travertine marble, are going to have new lights hung from them, and the lights are inspired by some of the more contemporary sort of uses of LED or fluorescent light in sculpture today. In a way, the lights will emulate what you can see sometimes in art galleries done by some prominent sculptors.

As you can see, the transom is also a very important architectural piece of historic significance. So needless to say, we're going to preserve these. However, the doors have been removed. We don't have the original doors anymore. These are doors from the '70s that we are going to replace. The new doors, it's just clear glass. That happens both in this set of doors and the ones that face the street, because the stainless steel floor continues all the way to the front, so that just to create again the sense of light coming in in this new surface, which we think is going to produce a very beautiful effect in reflecting the natural light and then changing into the LED light that you'll see on the walls.

We believe that these two operations are going to make a very potent, very radical transformation of the lobby, where the existing features are going to be enhanced. At the same time, the building will acquire a spirit of lightness and a spirit of again something more modernity, which we think is very appropriate for the new uses.

- Andrian Luchini, architect