Haley Sharpe Design, a design agency based in Leicester, has led the final stage in the regeneration project of the iconic Gateway Arch and the surrounding National Park in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. It is working on a new museum situated at the base of the monument, which, upon its opening in July, will mark the completion of the nearly £275 million regeneration project that could offer an urban renewal blueprint for cities across the world.

The project has already attracted investment to the area around the Arch, estimated at around £1.45 billion, as well as visitors to St. Louis at a time when the city is building a reputation as the new ‘hipster’ capital of America.

The regeneration project was conceived in 2009 and it was funded through local business philanthropy and funds from the public sector. The design competition to redevelop the entire area was won by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The new design included the creation of a new park over the highway that connects the city to the Arch and the Arch to the Mississippi River, creating a single, open and easily accessible space. As part of the project, St. Louis’s central riverfront was raised to reduce flooding closures and provide biking and walking connections.

“The Arch is iconic and beloved by St. Louisans, however, day to day, it was increasingly less attractive to visitors. People began to gather and use the park almost as soon as the landscaping work was completed, and we are seeing local businesses and leisure operators start to thrive from the increased volume of visitors. By linking the Arch to the city and to the river in a way that is sustainable and accessible, this new project marks a new phase in the development of St. Louis as a great place for everyone,” said Eric Moraczewski, Executive Director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation.

Further development around the Gateway Arch Park has already been plans, with options including a commitment to becoming the first 100% renewable energy national park in the US by 2020.