Add the Petersen Automotive Museum to the list of Museum Row institutions planning major makeovers, inside and out. The final plans won't be unveiled for another month, but here's an early sketch of the facade from Kohn Pedersen Fox, which shows the building encased in a series of stainless steel ribbons "meant to evoke Art Deco themes," according to the LA Times. If they're trying to make it look more obviously like a car museum, we're not sure they've succeeded, but ok. Inside, the galleries and displays will be updated to provide an "immersive museum experience," in the first major update to the building since the museum opened 19 years ago.
The news is the latest blow to fans of architect Welton Becket, whose firm designed the recently-shuttered Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and the threatened-by-towers Capitol Records Building, in addition to the Petersen, which was originally built to house a Seibu department store in 1962.
The Times had a harsh take on the museum's plan over the weekend, accusing the museum of selling off a chunk of its collection to finance the renovation. (For those of you not up on museum ethics, that sort of thing is apparently Just Not Done.) The Petersen, however, denies the charge and says the collection had grown too large and that they're only selling off duplicates. The museum plans to reveal how they're going to pay for the construction when they show off the final design in August.
· Petersen Automotive Museum takes a major detour [LAT]
· THE PETERSEN SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT [Petersen Automotive Museum]