Regarding “Gyo Obata, influential St. Louis architect, dies at 99” (March 9): Gyo Obata’s architectural vision had a great impact on many St. Louisans and architecture fans everywhere. The many buildings his firm designed that make up the St. Louis city skyline, in particular, have shown us how architecture invokes our senses.
For example, every time I enter the Metropolitan Square building, and tug mightily on its heavy, overly tall pedestrian doors, I am reminded of the huge scale of this, the tallest building in St. Louis. The architects could have called for ordinary, standard-issue, commercial type entry doors, but that would have been grossly unrepresentative for this structure. These monstrous doors and the atypical manner that they swing open heightens the perception that one is entering an enormous edifice. The spacious atrium with granite floors, its two-story ceilings and upper level murals also confirms a person’s awareness of the enormous scale of this building.
For me, at least, Obata’s structure have been inspirational in their materials and their shapes far exceeding what one might typically encounter as more or less “uninspired.” In my opinion, it is an oversimplification to say that St. Louisans can be grateful that he chose to make his mark on this fair city. His architecture gave us so much more.
Donald E. Nations • St. Charles
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