A Modest Proposal for LACMA

David Geffen Galleries under construction. Photo by Gary Leonard (c) Museum Associates/LACMA

An Urbanize LA feature has aerial views of Peter Zumthor's LACMA building (the David Geffen Galleries), now increasingly visible as formwork is removed. The article also has reader comments, offering an early favorability poll. There are about as many positive comments as negative ones—a surprise, given how uniformly snarky the tone of on-line criticism has been. 

The most original comment: "Levitated Mass would be perfect on that roof. Huge flat surface area that makes you feel surrounded by the sky. That also has the benefit of freeing up the ground area where Levitated Mass currently sits for future expansion."

Via Urbanize LA. Photo by Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography


Anonymous said…
Certainly! Here's the edited version:

Echoing the modest proposal, LACMA should relocate Richard Serra’s Band underneath the new building. Richard Serra insisted on it being indoors, but it makes more sense outdoors where more people could enjoy it. It could join a group of very important outdoor works: Levitated Mass, Urban Light, Smoke, and Hello Girls (obviously needs a major work by a lady). Staying true to Serra’s desire for it to be enclosed, moving it underneath the new building would preserve that sense of claustrophobia. This alone would free up a sixth of BCAM for exhibition space and address one of the major criticisms of the new building.
Anonymous said…
Completely agree with putting Richard Serra's Band under the new building. It could be another outdoor sculpture enjoyed by the public while freeing up exhibition space in BCAM
Anonymous said…
Too many of the moving parts of what's going on aren't properly aligned, they're somehow off or askew---red ink, square footage, programming, etc.

For one thing, Zumthor has expressed unhappiness about various results of his design, implying that budget cutbacks apparently have affected his enthusiasm.

That huge flat roof also looks like it's going to be a concrete desert (or heat pan), while the roof of Ma Yansong's building for the Lucas museum will have pathways interspersed with some landscaping.

I guess in the future LACMA's roof can always be poked through and opened up for more gallery space or something useful. Then again, Michael Govan doesn't like museums with more than one level---or something like that.

However, I admit I'm anxious to see the new building completed and up and running, whereas a few years ago I overestimated the status quo. A visit to Louvre World in Orlando, France sort of shook me up.

I also recall a tourist from Minneapolis visiting LACMA several years ago and, on an online travel blog, describing it as underwhelming. She treated it unfavorably next to her city's Beaux-Arts-style art museum built in 1915 (by McKim, Mead and White). So between the major leagues in Europe and the minor leagues in Midwestern America, LACMA's "tract" house from 1965-1986 really wasn't cutting it.

Also, since LACMA will never compete with the connoisseur-type museums, it had better compete with the TikTok-Instagram-type museums.
More than a patent stab at incorporating ideas of "light" and "air". Yay!
Seeing it aerially, I kinda hope there's a wee choo-choo in there for we oldsters who are reminded of those interminable airport terminals.
Horizontal escalators, even?
The coup would have been ceiling heights rivaling Munich's Alte Pinakothek. The upper gallery, I'm guestimating, tops 45 feet* with vast skylights throughout. Light shining like a nova. An oldie but one of my very favorite goodies.
[* The architect had to go big...Rubens didn't play with his "The Great Last Judgment." The alterpiece's height measures 6.08 meters.]
Anonymous said…
Zumthor had those dramatic beautiful high chapel ceilings in the earlier renderings for the building. That was biggest loss of the value engineering. To me, those should have been indispensable. That's were we would have gotten the "Zumthoresque details"