LACMA’s Tarpit-Inspired Design Oozes Across Wilshire

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Director of LACMA Michael Govan talks about the museum’s new design scheme.

Last year LACMA director Michael Govan and architect Peter Zumthor presented a design for a large, blobular building to take the place of four of the older buildings at the County Museum, three dating from the 1960s by William Pereira and the 1986 Art of the Americas Building by Hardy Holzman, Pfeiffer Associates.

The first hurdle the design ran into was in its own back yard — the goopy black tarpits that had initially inspired the scheme. But it turned out the proposed building was too close for comfort for the Page Museum. So the team went back to work and recently released a new design, in which the blob has oozed across Wilshire Boulevard, and bridges the street.

Govan discusses the scheme and also comments on reports that LACMA is in negotiations with Metro to build a skyscraper, possibly to be designed by Frank Gehry.