Images © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner/Courtesy of LACMA
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has altered his design of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) following concerns that it would impinge upon the neighboring fossil-rich La Brea Tar Pits. The new site plan maintains its organic form while stretching across Wilshire Boulevard and away from the tar pits, which continue to be actively excavated.
Per its original incarnation, five glass cylinders will support the 400,000-square-foot glass-and-concrete museum as it rises 30 feet above the ground. Rooftop solar panels would provide all of the museum’s energy. In the reworked plan, traffic would flow under the section spanning Wilshire. Additionally, open-air courtyards will occupy the center of the facility, addressing critics’ worries that the design might be too “cave-like.”
In June, Zumthor told LACMA trustees that the building was “meant to be an organic form that can change and react,” according to the New York Times. “I have been working to make a grand, luxurious, light, and easygoing building…where Oscar Niemeyer from heaven would say, ‘Not bad.’ ”