Famed Swiss architect Peter Zumthor wasted little time in adapting his original plans for the redesign of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to address the concerns of critics. After scientists from the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits expressed apprehension over Zumthor’s original plans — released last year, due to their potential impact on active research sites at the tar pits — Zumthor shifted his proposed new building away from the tar pits and instead across Wilshire Boulevard. While the building as modified will preserve the free-form shape that Zumthor originally envisioned, it will now include a glass encapsulated walkway raised about 30 feet above Wilshire, allowing museum visitors to look down at the cars passing below their feet.
The walkway will extend to land currently used as a parking lot at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Spaulding Avenue, where a wing constituting about a quarter of the building’s 410,000 square feet will reside.
Although the design is subject to approval by the City of Los Angeles, the initial response has been positive. Mayor Eric Garcetti supports the new plans, as do museum directors at the Natural History Museum, which runs the Page Museum. LACMA is in the process of conducting feasibility studies and intends to kick off a capital campaign once it finishes the studies, hopefully by the end of Spring 2015.