The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), is in the spotlight again as plans to tear down most of the eastern portions of the museum and build a modern cohesive glass structure were released to the public. The $650 million project has yet to come before LACMA’s Board of Directors, but the new design, a long flat glass box which allows the outside world to look in, is getting attention for what we will lose as much as what we will gain along Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of the Miracle Mile.
Prepped by a fine story about LACMA’s visionary director Michael Govan in theWall Street Journal last week, the museum released more information this week on architect Peter Zumthor’s vision for deconstructing the current campus. Everything east of the “Urban Lights” lamp post installation could be torn down (excluding the Japanese Pavillion) – including the Ahmanson, Hammer, Bing and Art of the Americas buildings. Many feel the current hodge-podge of architecture built in 1965 and 1986, blocks Wilshire Boulevard from the guts of the museum.
The new project would be an indoor-outdoor design with 360 degrees of glass walls set a floor above ground level, allowing visitors on the exterior to look inside through ‘transparent galleries’ to art that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years.
The LA Times carried a front-page story on the proposal today, and museum members and visitors will have a chance to look it over more clearly in an exhibition at LACMA titled “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA” beginning June 9th. Govan will interview Zumthor in LACMA’s Director Series Monday, June 3rd (tickets can be purchased online) if you’d like to hear the plans, straight from the mouths of those behind the new vision.
Wall Street Journal: If He Builds It You Will Come