Best New Building

Centene Plaza

Say what you will about Centene: how the healthcare firm tore down the landmark Library Limited building at the corner of Forsyth Boulevard and Hanley Road in Clayton, or maybe how it was supposed to construct its new headquarters downtown at Ballpark Village, dammit! Yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before. But c'mon. You gotta admit: Centene Plaza is pretty effin' cool. At seventeen stories, the office tower technically qualifies as a skyscraper, yet its lithe design makes it feel far less imposing than that descriptor would suggest. This crystal palace is so translucent it's practically invisible. Speaking of crystal, how about that multicolored glass ceiling on the outdoor walkway, connecting the office tower to the parking garage? It looks like the dance floor of Studio 54 standing on its head — especially at night when illuminated. But more than just sexy and fun, Centene Plaza is smart and efficient, with a grass rooftop and LEED Gold rating. Sure, it would have looked great peering over the center-field bleachers at Busch Stadium. But any way you slice it, HOK's architects hit it out of the park when designing this beauty.

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