The Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA) will unveil a new design by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on June 9. Museum Director Michael Govan and Zumthor have been working to create a new building along Wilshire Boulevard.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the architectural future of LACMA will include a large, single-story building made of glass and dark-gray concrete hoisted 30 feet into the air by seven separate legs, each with its own staircase. Govan and Zumthor’s new building will stretch more than 700 feet along Wilshire Boulevard and be called “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA.” Some feel that “Zumthor’s design for LACMA would give the city a much-needed jolt of architectural energy.” Govan and Zumthor have been working on the design for approximately five years and it is still in its conceptual phase. It is likely several years away still from breaking ground.
In addition to the actual construction of the project, Govan still has to get approval and support for taking down LACMA’s original campus by William Pereira, which dates back to 1965. He will also have to raise $650 million, according to the LA Times, $450 million of which will go to build the new structure alone. However, if the plans go forward, Govan estimates that the new structure will be more efficient than what is already there, perhaps even costing $5 million less per year to run.
Zumthor aims to create “a village of experiences. It’s an organic shape, like a water lily, floating and open with glass 360 degrees around.”
Govan adds, “As much as 80 percent of the square footage will house art on view to the public. Whole sections of LACMA’s collection – such as gems tucked away on the third floor of the Art of the Americas building – will be dusted off for the first time in years.”
Zumthor is the well-received designer of art museums in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
On June 9, the city of Los Angeles will be able to view Govan and Zumthor’s concept as the museum will unveil it in the “Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA” exhibition.