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Hawthorne Likes the Baby Piano, New LACMA Restaurant Planned

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LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has arrived on the scene to, yes, defend Renzo Piano's just-completed Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, writing that it's probably "destined for a lifetime of being just the slightest bit under-appreciated." And Hawthorne doesn't just like Resnick, either, he seems to like it a little better than its big brother BCAM next door, calling Resnick "more precise and refined and less visually cluttered" (he also says its north-facing skylights provide a purer, but chillier light than BCAM gets). So while Resnick is "less of an architectural object than BCAM (which is itself hardly showy by contemporary standards), it is "more clearly a backdrop for the art inside -- and equally for [Robert] Irwin's garden and the Brobdingnagian artworks planned in and around it, including Michael Heizer's huge 'Levitated/Slot Mass' (a 400-ton granite boulder suspended on concrete rails) and ultimately, perhaps, a hanging locomotive by Jeff Koons."

Piano's plan for LACMA isn't complete yet, but the museum has started to move on; director Michael Govan has said he's working with Peter Zumthor on a plan for the museum's east side. So, says Hawthorne, "the Piano master plan is emerging as something of an island." But there might at least be food on that island: Piano told Hawthorne "he has recently finished designs for a streamlined restaurant and bar structure that will be built beneath the high canopy of the entry hall." [Resnick Pavilion and BCAM by jim61773]
· Architecture review: Renzo Piano's Resnick Pavilion a reserved LACMA presence [LAT]

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