LACMA releases new renderings of proposed Peter Zumthor building

Credit: Peter Zumthor / LACMA via buildinglacma.org

Credit: Peter Zumthor / LACMA via buildinglacma.org

On a newly-launched website, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has released renderings of the proposed Peter Zumthor-designed building, which would replace four existing buildings designed by William Pereira. In total, the new building, prosaically named the Building for the Permanent Collection, would comprise approximately 393,000 square feet, a reduction of about 25,000 square feet from the current gallery space.

The Swiss architect has been working for years on the project and several changes have been made since the original design was released. Most notably, and controversially, the building is now designed to span Wilshire Boulevard.

The dark grey concrete building will stand on eight giant legs, which will also serve as galleries and retail spaces. So-called “Meander” galleries containing benches and artworks will connect the various galleries along the building’s perimeter. In the renderings, they are shown as wide spaces with large windows providing views over the city. Conventional galleries, named “Cabinet” galleries, are depicted in the renderings instead of the so-called “Chapels”, which will have high ceilings.

As Christopher Hawthorne notes in the Los Angeles Times, Zumthor is known to prefer models over the slick renderings typically employed by architects today. And the renderings look “undercooked”, as Hawthorne states. In other words, they’re not great and seem to be stand-ins rather than representations of what the gallery will actually look like.

Little of the landscaping, to be designed in collaboration with the artist Robert Irwin and the firm Spurlock, is depicted. The famous Urban Light installation by Chris Burden is clearly a cut-out of a Google Maps image and seems to be either relocated or simply in the wrong place, considering that the Renzo Piano-designed Plaza will not be removed according to the site plan. According to Hawthorne, the renderings were produced in part to meet deadlines for an environmental impact report.

Construction on the new building is set to begin in 2018 and projected to be completed in 2023. It’s expected to cost $600-million.

Check out more images in the gallery below.

For more on the Zumthor-designed LACMA building, take a look at these articles:

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