New renderings reveal Peter Zumthor's US$600m LACMA museum redesign

by Kim Megson | 08 Aug 2016
“The new building opens up access to art through its horizontal, transparent design and creates a fluid and integrated experience”
– LACMA

New renderings have been released of Peter Zumthor’s proposed redevelopment of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) ahead of a public consultation meeting on 24 August.

The images visualise eight semi-transparent pavilions supporting an elevated, organically-shaped main exhibition level. The Pritzker Prize winning architect’s design will replace four of the museum’s deteriorating structures to house LACMA’s permanent collection of historic and contemporary art.

Demolition of older buildings means the US$600m (€541m, £459m) project will actually see a net reduction of 25,000sq ft (2,300sq m) to the museum site, though the new pavilions – covering 368,000sq ft (34,200sq m) – will improve visitor flow, functionality and environmental sustainability.

The new renderings also offer a glimpse at the expected addition of two-and-a-half acres of new public outdoor space to LACMA, including sculpture gardens, educational spaces and areas for drought-resistant flora and fauna that integrate with the museum’s surrounding parkland.

“The new building opens up public outdoor space while providing an enhanced experience with art by breaking down the historic ‘fortress’ museum concept,” said a LACMA statement. “In contrast, the current building configuration creates a barrier between the street and the campus and between visitors and their destination, is not easy to navigate, and is not smoothly integrated into the surrounding park and the rest of the campus.

“Museums change over time to accommodate cultural shifts in our relationship to the arts, and the ageing buildings no longer reflect the best and most effective way to exhibit the museum's collections.

“The new building opens up access to art through its horizontal, transparent design and creates a fluid and integrated experience.”

The County of Los Angeles will host a public scoping meeting at the museum on 24 August to assess how the environmental impact of construction will be measured. Further public consultations will follow.

Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2018, to coincide with the opening of Renzo Piano’s neighbouring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Work will be completed in 2023 – the same time as a new city subway line is set to be completed directly across from the museum.

Approximately 80 per cent of funding is coming from private donations raised by Museum Associates – the nonprofit public benefit corporation that manages LACMA. Around 20 per cent of funding has come from the County of Los Angeles, which owns the building.

Peter Zumthor  LACMA  Los Angeles  art  architecture  design  Pritzker 
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New renderings have been released of Peter Zumthor’s proposed redevelopment of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) ahead of a public consultation meeting on 24 August. The images visualise eight semi-transparent pavilions supporting an elevated, organically-shaped main exhibition level. The Pritzker Prize winning architect’s design will replace four of the museum’s deteriorating structures to house LACMA’s permanent collection of historic and contemporary art. Demolition of older buildings means
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The new images visualise eight semi-transparent pavilions supporting an elevated, organically shaped main exhibition level / LACMA
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