New Zumthor Renderings

Peter Zumthor's studio has released a new set of renderings for LACMA's David Geffen Galleries. Steven Sharp, in Urbanize Los Angeles, has a slideshow.

At top, Tony Smith's Smoke huddles under Zumthor's concrete ceiling. Don't take that too literally. The Environmental Impact Report says the underside of Zumthor's building is 23 feet high at the Wilshire overpass. Smoke is 24 feet high.
As in all previous designs, the gallery floor is sandwiched between concrete slabs. Now the top slab is distinctly thicker than the bottom one and also curvier. The bottom slab has some angles and is slash-like, while the top slab is blobby and biomorphic. A jetliner-view render shows that the blobby aspect will predominate from above. 

The glass windows appear to follow the bottom slab. They have angles but are elsewhere gently curved(?) If curtains are still being considered, they're not evident.
The new images show angled lighting fixtures that resemble those in Zumthor's Kolumba Museum, Cologne; charcoal-gray terrazzo gallery floors; a stratified concrete texture for interior and exterior walls; a flagstone treatment of the adjacent plaza.

Art installations shown in architectural renderings of museums are about as realistic as, well, the people in them. The new interior renderings are handsome but art-sparse and don't do much to address concerns about having enough space for the West Coast's pre-eminent collection of world art. To my best of my knowledge we still haven't seen a gallery rendering that isn't flooded with sideways So. Cal. light. It's unclear how they'd show Indian miniatures or Andean tunics in this building, or if they intend to.

(Architects love light, conservation scientists hate it. The glory of Renzo Piano's Resnick Pavilion is its overhead light. There were a few early exhibitions that took advantage of it. Now the skylights are perpetually blacked out, for almost any  large, multimedia exhibition has some light-sensitive works.)

UPDATE: An exhibition of Zumthor's designs and a model has recently opened on the bottom floor of the Ahmanson Building. Not included is what a lot of us are most curious about, the interior floorplan.


Anonymous said…
Govan should be sued for cultural malpractice.

Every aspect of his plan, from the museum's budget to its layout, from its format (merged departments) to its design (frivolous large windows, smaller theater, less floor space, no conservation space), yell "Disaster!"

Hey, Govan, doesn't retirement to the south of France seem alluring at this time? How about a permanent sabbatical to explore art and artists throughout the world?

Mattia Nuzzo said…
The exhibition is open already in the old Art Catalogues space. Those same renders (maybe one or two others) are shown on a slideshow on a large flat panel with a contextual model in the center of the space. I suppose if you looked very, very closely you could kinda sorta make out some semblance of the floor plan through the model’s side windows, but I’m assuming it still hasn’t been shown because they still haven’t figured it out. In any case these more detailed renders have got me excited again after the initial letdown from the environmental impact report.
Thanks for the info. I've updated the post.
juanito said…
it looks like a clinic for synoptic psychiatrics, without a front door.
Miguel Vila said…
Very, Very Nice project !!!
It makes me think about extending the park on the other side of Wilshire