La Brea Tar Pits to join neighbors in new look, renovations

| January 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

ARCHITECT MARION WEISS, FAIA, presents renderings of her firm’s response to the Natural History Museums’ request for conceptual approaches to master planning the La Brea Tar Pits in the county’s Hancock Park, just east and north of the Los Angeles County Art Museum.

Last month, completing a one-year international search process, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHM) announced the selection of architecture firm Weiss / Manfredi to lead a master planning team to re-imagine the Miracle Mile’s La Brea Tar Pits. The firm was selected from among three finalists, all of whom had presented initial concepts to community leaders and stakeholders at an Aug. 26 meeting at the El Rey Theatre.

PRESENTATION by architects Michael Manfredi, FAIA, and Marion Weiss, FAIA, was made to community leaders and stakehold- ers at the Miracle Mile’s El Rey Theatre in August.

Speaking about their concept, the “architecture, landscape, urbanism” firm’s co-founders, Marion Weiss, FAIA, and Michael Manfredi, FAIA, said they and their team “are deeply honored and grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reveal the multiple identities of the Tar Pits, the Museum, and Hancock Park. Our ‘Loops and Lenses’ concept creates new connections between the museum and the park, between science and culture, and envisions the entire site as an unfolding place of discovery.”

WEISS / MANFREDI “Loops and Lenses” concept for the La Brea Tar Pits maintains and restores the existing museum, adds a new building and parking, and maintains Hancock Park open space.

Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of NHM, announced the Weiss / Manfredi team’s selection. In an interview with the Larchmont Chronicle, Bettison-Varga explained that “it probably will be another year before we see more detail.” She said the process for the architects and their colleagues, including Los Angeles architect and historic preservation expert Brenda Levin, FAIA, will be to work with NHM on a program of public engagement as a part of planning the evolution of the 13-acre property that includes the world’s only active paleontological research site in a major urban area — as well as the surrounding park spaces and the George C. Page Museum building from 1977.

Bettison-Varga told us that the selection of Weiss  / Manfredi was the consensus of many different stakeholders. She observed that “highly diverse respondents were uniform in feeling that this team and its proposal provide the best fit,” noting that survey responses alone accounted for more than 2,100 opinions about the three proposals being evaluated. She added that the consultants would be embarking upon their work in early 2020.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *