Zumthor's Sideways Light
More is riding on the "meander" galleries. This refers to space around the margins, next to the curving horizontal windows. As Christopher Hawthorne wrote, "in certain ways the success of the building as a whole will depend on how they turn out. They may feel like an exciting new hybrid of gallery, public space and viewing platform looking down on Wilshire Boulevard. Or they may suggest a crowded hallway where some art has been stashed for lack of proper space elsewhere."
In the rendering at top, Helen Lundeberg's Linear Torso, no. 4, an acrylic painting, is potentially subjected to the rays of the setting sun. The rendering also shows two partial remedies: a roof overhang and curtains. Modernists despised curtains, and they are rare in American museums. But Zumthor has used them to striking effect. His Kolumba Museum (2007) in Cologne has hand-painted silk drapes and leather curtains.
|Drapes in Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum, Cologne. Photo by Jörn Schiemann|
|Leather curtains in Peter Zumthor's Kolumba Museum, Cologne|
|Pierre Koenig, Stahl House (Case Study House #22). Julius Shulman photo.|
|Richard Meier, Getty Center|
|Peter Zumthor, LACMA rendering|