LACMA's New Redesign Arches Over Wilshire Boulevard (And Saves The Tar Pits)
Sometimes art can be over our heads, and if the new LACMA redesign comes to fruition, it will literally be over our heads when we drive down Wilshire Boulevard.
After LACMA's next door neighbors at the Page Museum balked at Peter Zumthor's original plan for the future of the museum, the museum and architect unveiled a new design: it's an amorphous blob of a building that stretches over and across Wilshire Boulevard— and more importantly away from the tar pits.
As LA Observed noted, the new museum building would be one of only a handful of structures that currently span Wilshire Boulevard. Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne of the LA Times said the new plan "makes the building foremost an urban object, part of the boulevard and the public realm." Honestly almost anything aside from the current buildings, which look like an imposing and inaccessible art prison, will do.
Aside from the rerouting of the building, the plan is essentially the same as before with the glass building being perched 30 feet above the ground on glass columns, according to the New York Times. The building would span across the street and into what is currently a museum parking lot at Wilshire and Spaulding. Drivers will be able to look into the galleries from the street below, further fueling the myth that art is for everyone (only after you pay for admission). Jokes about the snooty art world aside, the new building plan is actually pretty cool.
The redesign seems to have support on all fronts, including LACMA and Page Museum honchos and L.A. City government. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose district includes the LACMA grounds, called the new plan, "more iconic than his original design. It's a win-win." The original plan was estimated to cost $650 mil, though other architects have estimated it could run as high as $1 billion. A new figure for the updated plan won't be revealed until the end of next spring after feasibility studies have been done.