Peter Zumthor Works on New Vision for LACMA


Image: Los Angeles Times

Swiss Pritzker-winning architect Peter Zumthor is in the process of creating a new vision for Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Working alongside the museum’s CEO and Director, Michael Govan, Zumthor plans to replace some of the older buildings with modern glass structures.

When Govan joined LACMA in 2006, he reportedly already had Zumthor in mind to change the way the museum would “engage the public in the 21st century,” according to LA Curbed. For the past seven years, the two have been working on the 22-acre campus’ new vision, which will be presented in an exhibition held in June called The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Zumthor is making big changes, “literally turning LACMA inside out by replacing half of its angular mid-to-late-20th century buildings with a series of curvaceous modern glass structures.” This will include getting rid of four old buildings and constructing new glass walls that will allow the museum’s artwork to be viewed from Wilshire Boulevard. There will also reportedly be an indoor-outdoor art park, a curving perimeter, a wide veranda surrounding transparent galleries, solar panels, and more.

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.

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