Scratch Tan, Zumthor LACMA Will Be Gray (Maybe)
|Feb. 2022 rendering showing the proposed gray color|
Esotouric's Secret Los Angeles posted a link to a Feb. 2022 Addendum to the Environmental Impact Report for LACMA's new, Peter Zumthor-designed permanent collection building. The museum is now contemplating a concrete gray color for the structure. This would replace the previous "tan, warm, earthy" color (unveiled in 2017) and the original tar-pit black (2013). The filing says
“LACMA is now considering a natural light gray concrete color for the Museum Building as the proposed hue would be more consistent with the surrounding buildings on both ends of Hancock Park and the LACMA campus itself. Additionally, as the concrete in the interior would be the same color as the exterior, the natural light gray color is a better backdrop for the art that will be displayed.”
The report cites the use of gray concrete in the Academy Museum's theater (named for David Geffen, as will be the new LACMA structure), LACMA's two existing Renzo Piano buildings, and Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass; and even the gray paint of the street lamps in Chris Burden's Urban Light. It asserts that the gray color would comply with "Guideline 8 and Standard 8a of the Miracle Mile CDO, which call for the use of a color palette which complements adjacent buildings and promotes the Art Deco identity of the Miracle Mile and limits the use of bright or intense colors in large areas." (As to how that Art Deco identity's going, check out the Petersen Automotive Museum.)
I would emphasize that LACMA has not announced the color change, and the language of the addendum is less than decisive. It's possible that LACMA wants to have the paperwork in place, should Zumthor settle on gray at the last minute.
|c. 2019 rendering showing the tan color at twilight|
|Rendering showing the gray color. This image shows a fence on the north side of Wilshire and an extension to the palm garden|