Building PulitzerArchitecture Tours
This series of tours was inspired by the Building Pulitzer Architecture Colloquium, a collaboration between the Pulitzer and Washington University in St. Louis, which offered a comprehensive look back at the four-year process by which the Pulitzer building was constructed. The unique qualities of Tadao Ando’s architecture and the precision of the building’s craftsmanship continue to bring visitors from around the world to Grand Center in St. Louis. Following the colloquium, the Pulitzer launched a series of tours arranged with the building's onsite project superintendent, Steve Morby, who—along with other specialists present during the construction—shared insight into the innovative and intricate methods that were necessary to complete the project.
By inviting guests into the otherwise unseen spaces of the Pulitzer building, this tour provided insider information about Tadao Ando’s architecture with two of the structural engineers who were instrumental in realizing it: Phillip Shinn and Ted Pruess. The tour leaders discussed the means and methods for conceiving the structural systems unique to the building, in addition to offering anecdotes and stories from their experiences during the construction of this demanding project.
Led by Mechanical Engineer Keith Esarey and Mechanical Pipe Fitter David Richard, this tour answered such questions as, “How do you keep a 27,000 square-foot concrete building cool in the summer and warm in the winter?” and “How do you ensure electricity and water run throughout the building at all times?” Participants gained insight into the building’s complex mechanical systems, which enhanced their understanding of how Ando’s methods of construction transform building materials into a source of inspiration and human experience.
Tadao Ando is acclaimed for his use of concrete and the exacting processes by which he achieves its strength, texture, and radiance. Participants in this tour learned about the design and building methods used to create the unique forms needed to pour this uncompromising concrete. The tour was led by Glenn Hoffman, construction shop foreman during the construction of the Pulitzer building, along with his assistant, Kelvin Allen.
With a major renovation of Pulitzer's lower level well underway, this tour previewed the new gallery spaces and focused on the building’s data systems—the audiovisual, lighting, sprinkler, and other systems needed to operate a twenty-first century building. The tour was conducted by an architect on the construction project, Rick Wimmer-Brown, associate at Christner Inc., and Keith Cooper, contributor to the design of the data systems and engineer at McClure Engineering. A short Q&A was held in the Pulitzer library after the tour.
With the new galleries in the final stages of construction, this tour focused on the custom heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems used to create an environment suitable for displaying artwork. The tour was conducted by an architect on the construction project, Rick Wimmer-Brown, associate at Christner Inc., and Keith Esarey, contributor to the design of the HVAC systems and mechanical engineer at McClure Engineering.