Zumthor explains design for 'sacred, sublime and profane' LA County Museum of Art

by Magali Robathan | 17 Oct 2016
You’ll have this almost sacred, sublime kind of experience, but I would also like to accommodate the profane, the dirty, the normal, the everyday
– Peter Zumthor

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor has told CLAD that his proposed redevelopment of the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) will create a “sacred, sublime kind of experience.”

In an exclusive interview during a recent trip to London, Zumthor explained his vision for the project.

“The museum is not organised in timelines, periods or geographical regions,” he said. “It's organised like a forest with clearings inside, where we have free choice to go to this clearing, or to the next. I would like to allow an experience of art where people can go and look at the art without didactics, without premature explanations, and make their own experience.”

The project will see four of LACMA's deteriorating structures replaced by the new Zumthor-designed building, which will house the museum's permanent collection of historic and contemporary art. Eight semi-transparent pavilions will support an elevated, organically-shaped main exhibition level, with access points to the surrounding gardens.

“The museum is open to the outside; this is very important,” Zumthor told CLAD. “You’ll have this almost sacred, sublime kind of experience, but I would also like to accommodate the profane, the dirty, the normal, the everyday.

“You start off down on the ground – this is normal city life – then as you go up you are received in a beautiful big palace for the people. From there you can go to the clearings, and that’s where you have the most intimate and maybe more private experiences of art."

Zumthor highlighted the Palazzo Fortuny art museum in Venice as an example of the qualities he is aiming for with his design, which he summarised as “a rich atmosphere, historic density and material presence”.

The architect also revealed that he is working on new images of LACMA to illustrate his proposed design, adding that the "commercial-looking" visualisations released in August were created for an environmental review only.

“They were conventional renderings, which I personally don't like so much," he explained, adding that his studio is currently working on photos taken from models which are prepared especially for the purpose. “The models allow us to take pictures with natural daylight, the light of the sun, which makes a lot of difference,” he said. “These will explain the building better.”

Speaking about his architectural philosophy, Zumthor argued he aims to provoke emotions with his designs. He said: “I love buildings. When I look back on my life I love the buildings that speak to me by means of their atmospheric qualities, a feeling of history, of being complete. I want to make buildings which have the capacity to be loved, that’s all.

“I'm extremely sensitive to things that don't work. Many people see what's ugly and doesn't work in the world, but I have skills and talent [to design things that do work]. That's a gift.”

An extensive interview with Peter Zumthor will be featured in the next issue of CLADmag. Meanwhile his long-running work on Norway’s National Tourist Route is featured a in the new issue of the magazine, which can now downloaded as a PDF or read on digital turning pages.

Peter Zumthor  LACMA  Los Angeles  Architecture 
Related stories

Peter Zumthor creates unique museum at site of abandoned Norwegian mine

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

Peter Zumthor’s latest addition to Norway’s tourist routes opening in September

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor has told CLAD that his proposed redevelopment of the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) will create a “sacred, sublime kind of experience.” In an exclusive interview during a recent trip to London, Zumthor explained his vision for the project. “The museum is not organised in timelines, periods or geographical regions,” he said. “It's organised like a forest with clearings inside, where we have free
CLD,HAM,AAC,PRO,ARC,DES,PHR
Zumthor told CLAD, 'I want to make buildings which have the capacity to be loved' / Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6722     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6722     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Alliance Leisure Services Ltd
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
3XN’s Royal Arena opened in Copenhagen in 2017. It houses a range of cultural and sporting events
Kim Herforth Nielsen founded 3XN in 1986 with Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen
"I always wanted to do more than just designing buildings"

How Danish firm 3XN is harnessing the power of architecture to shape human behaviour

Aliya Khan, global design strategy, Marriott International
"Millennials are investing more in experiences versus physical things"

How millennial travellers are transforming hotel design

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Each of Moxy’s bars and restaurants have been designed to deliver a distinct experience
"Millennials are pushing us architects to design hotels with distinct personalities"

Sameness is out, authenticity is in when it comes to designing for millennials says Greg Keffer

The award-winning Salt Shed is an iconic structure in New York, designed to elevate a utilitarian building into a striking landmark
Claire Weisz
"I prefer to be labelled a feminist architect than a female architect. I’d love to work with more women"

The WXY co-founder and urbanist with a passion for improving our public spaces

The Tama Art University Library features a series of slender arches
Toyo Ito was born in Seoul in 1941. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo
"I have one dream with my work. Architecture should equal nature"

The Pritzker Prize-winner talks about inspiration, battling bureaucracy and the Tokyo National Olympic Stadium saga with Kim Megson

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: EXF supports Third Space to create London’s largest functional training space at The Yard
Bespoke fitness manufacturer EXF has extended its relationship with Third Space, by supplying the luxury fitness group with London’s largest functional training rig at its Canary Wharf club.
cladkit product news
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
cladkit product news
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
cladkit product news
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates