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 6908     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6908     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of facilities. We cater for every type of exercise and every level of competition, from recreational to elite level performance.
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
CLAD people: Kanye West
West announced the donation to the Roden Crater after a recent visit
"We will all live in Turrell spaces one day"

Musician Kanye West to help fund the still unfinished Roden Crater, designed by American artist James Turrell

OceanReef’s Nemo’s Garden underwater farming concept
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

Beacher visited several Zaha Hadid buildings for design inspiration
"I fell in love with Zaha Hadid"

Black Panther set designer Hannah Beachler

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Colli is known for her use of colour
Daniela Colli
"The alternation of light and shadow is essential to give dynamism to a space"

Italian architect Daniela Colli tells us how she looked to classical art for inspiration on how to deal with light and shadow in her latest project

Profile: John Rhodes
John Rhodes
"It’s about the celebration of people coming together. If you can manage that well, a venue can become very special"

HOK has been tasked with designing a truly flexible arena for Valencia. John Rhodes is up for the challenge

The Bill R Foster and Family Recreation Center at Missouri State University, US
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

features
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

Partners clockwise from bottom right: Alexandra Champalimaud, Ed Bakos, Winston Kong, John Kastl
Bakos joined Champalimaud in December 2012. He previously worked for the Rockwell Group
"Construction is one of the largest generators of landfill waste, so it is important to create spaces that transcend trends"

It’s time for a new approach to sustainability, argues Champalimaud’s managing director

CLAD people: Asif Din
Din has worked on a range of sustainability-focused projects
"It’s imperative the architecture profession takes a proactive approach to tackling the realities of climate change"

Perkins+Will’s new sustainability director

cladkit product news
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
cladkit product news
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
cladkit product news
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates