LACMA moves forward with plans for its new building

| January 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
SLIMMER than this earlier version will be the portion of the new LACMA building above Wilshire Blvd. Photo by Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner

As we went to press, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art updated the public on its proposed new building to house the permanent collection, set to extend across Wilshire Boulevard when it opens at the end of 2023.

Now slimmer across the boulevard than its most recent concept, the Peter Zumthor-designed project is slated to begin construction at the end of the year, while fundraising continues.

Museum officials announced they have reached $560 million of the $650 million fundraising campaign target.

The County of Los Angeles is expected to advance $125 million of the $560 million raised after completion of a final environmental impact report (EIR) by Eyestone Environmental.

“As for the design of the new building, I’m pleased to share with you that it has been evolving and improving over the last several months, with main concepts remaining,” LACMA CEO Michael Govan said in a written statement.

“Now the County of Los Angeles is completing the final environmental impact report. This will be a critical step toward achieving our goal of opening the new building by the end of 2023.”

Traffic, seismic and other concerns are addressed in the EIR, whose drafting began in 2016

“As we have promised, the new building will not onlyprovide a safe and more accessible space for our artworks, but it will also allow us much more flexibility to tell different stories about our diverse collections,” Govan said.

The building’s “new thinking” was demonstrated on a tour Dec. 19 by Leah Lehmbeck, department head and curator, European Painting & Sculpture and American Art, of the museum’s current exhibit, “To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500-1800.”

INSTALLATION of the exhibit, “Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500-1800.” Photo by Museum Associates/ LACMA

The exhibit is made up of objects from the museum’s permanent collection and is on view in the Resnick Pavilion at LACMA.

Rotating exhibitions like this one will be shown in the Resnick Pavilion and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), while most of LACMA’s holdings are in storage pending demolition of the buildings designed by William Pereira and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer. About half of these existing buildings have closed already, and parts of the Ahmanson building are set to close early this year.

The new 387,500 square foot building will replace four buildings: Ahmanson, Hammer, Art of the Americas, and the Leo S. Bing Center, resulting in a net reduction of 5,300 square feet and creation of 3.5 acres of public outdoor space.

Demolition work and the Zumthor building construction are expected to begin after the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, under construction next door, is complete.

“To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500-1800” at LACMA, ends March 17.

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