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Peter Zumthor's New Design For LACMA Winds Above Wilshire

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Starchitect Peter Zumthor released plans last summer for a complete redesign of the LACMA campus, with a huge tar-pit-inspired building oozing through the site and overhanging the La Brea Tar Pits themselves. But that made scientists nervous (the tar pits are still an active research site), so he went back to work and has now released plans that ooze instead across Wilshire Boulevard and onto the site of what's now a museum parking lot on the eastern side of Spaulding. The building will still be raised about 30 feet off the ground on glass cylinders, and the New York Times says that "Visitors inside the museum could walk over Wilshire Boulevard and glance down at an expanse of the road, while drivers in cars below could look up into the perimeter of the glass-walled museum."

The new building will still be about 400,000 square feet; Zumthor's plans call for an energy-efficient building with a huge solar array on the roof and most of the art inside on display in some way (usually museums keep quite a bit of their collections in storage). It's set to replace the campus's four central buildings. The Natural History Museum board (which oversees the tar pits' accompanying Page Museum) has already signed off on Zumthor's new design and Mayor Garcetti likes it too.

Now LACMA is working on feasibility studies, which it hopes to finish by spring 2015; then it can start on a capital campaign to pay for the project.
· A Contemporary Design Yields to the Demands of Prehistory [NYT]
· Tour the Proposed Peter Zumthor LACMA Overhaul in Miniature [Curbed LA]
· Will the Tar Pit-Inspired LACMA Overhaul Threaten the Tar Pits? [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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