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Renzo Piano Comments on the Difficulties of Designing LA's Motion Picture Academy

In discussion with Christopher Hawthorne of the LA Times, Renzo Piano has taken his comments of modesty - verging on "self-deprecation" - to a new level. In response to questions about the design of the proposed Motion Picture Academy in Los Angeles he has said: "I don't think it will be that bad. [...] Actually, I'm struggling to do something good." Although Piano's design has previously been met with criticisms from Hawthorne, the Italian architect notes in this latest interview that "everything we've made at LACMA has been extremely complicated." The project, which has already seen a major alteration in the core design team, remains set to complete in 2015.

Peter Zumthor & LACMA Unveil Revised Museum Design

Peter Zumthor and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have revealed a revised design for the museum's $650 million new home on Museum Row in Los Angeles. The new design still features the sinuous glass and grey concrete slab raised a full story off the ground, but under the new proposal part of the museum would bridge Wilshire Boulevard to touch down on what is currently a car park opposite.

The change comes in response to criticisms that the previous design would put the neighboring La Brea Tar Pits at risk, threatening their status as an active paleontological research site and a popular tourist destination. The shape of the new design removes this risk by withdrawing from the boundary with the adjacent tar pits, without compromising on floor space in the museum.

More on the revised design after the break

Render of the view West along Wilshire Boulevard. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner Render of the view East along Wilshire Boulevard. Image © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner Model (image taken from model of original design). Image © 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA Model (image taken from model of original design). Image © 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

In Discussion: Peter Zumthor Speaks with Michael Govan About the LACMA Redesign

A First Look at Peter Zumthor’s Design for the LACMA

© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA
© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which Los Angeles is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director Michael Govan and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal - nearly five years in the making - would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original. 

More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description...

Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend Peter Zumthor to the Golden State. The prized architect’s debut will mark the opening of "The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA," which will unveil the ambitious, $650 million plan to transform the LACMA’s “Byzantine maze of buildings and hallways” into an experience-based “village” of curvaceous modern glass structures that will produce more energy than it uses. 

"The idea is to make it permeable by people," LACMA CEO and director Michael Govan says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.

LACMA Distinguished Architects Lecture Series: Jeanne Gang

Founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang, FAIA, LEED AP, will be delivering a lecture at LACMA on May 8th at 7:30pm. Reveal, the first volume on Studio Gang’s projects and processes, was released in 2011 from Princeton Architectural Press. Recent projects include a proposal reimagining the suburb of Cicero, Illinois, as a part of MoMA’sexhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream; Reverse Effect, a book intended to explore and spark a radically greener future for the Chicago River and Great Lakes; Aqua Tower, an Emporis Skyscraper of the Year; and Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, an educational project demonstrating how nature and city can coexist. The event is presented by LACMA and organized by Francesca Garcia-Marques, with an introduction by Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times architecture critic. For more details and information on the event, please visit here.  

Installation for California Design Exhibition / Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture

Courtesy of Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture
Courtesy of Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture

On view until Marcg 25th and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the installation for California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” Exhibition is created by the Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture Studio, which is also responsible for a number of Los Angeles landmarks, including the renovated Hollywood Bowl and Egyptian Theater. The design for the exhibition is inspired by California’s unique style, with lithe, sensuous lines carried throughout the installation, including the display cases and a helical construction that soars through the center of the space. Hodgetts + Fung also collaborated with curators Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman to bring the re-creation of the Eames living room to life. More information on the design and exhibition after the break.

Video: Chris Burden / Metropolis II

Chris Burden’s massive kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II, will debut at at LACMA this fall. The project took Burden and his chief engineer Zak Cook four years to complete.