A 630-foot tall structure of stainless steel, the Gateway Arch is the centerpiece of St. Louis’ Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It is a Modernist monument to the Jeffersonian vision of America’s expansion westward and St. Louis’ position as a bridge to that future. The preservation of a structure such as the Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, includes continuous reevaluation of fire protection and life safety strategies.
Mills + Schnoering Architects worked with Jensen Hughes, Inc. to complete a fire/smoke modeling assessment of the Gateway Arch to evaluate the effects of possible fire and smoke scenarios on the structure and visiting occupants. The study included documentation of the structure through 3D modeling; the fire/smoke modeling; and risk analysis and recommendations for improvements that would also preserve the historic and character-defining features of this iconic, mid-century structure. The study concluded that the Arch is an inherently safe structure, and no immediate action was necessary.