New LACMA Building

New LACMA Building

This week, another piece in the ongoing expansion/renovation of the formerly dated and dreary Los Angeles County Museum of Art was revealed.

For months, cryptic signs on the plywood surrounding the unfinished northwest corner of the LACMA campus–a vast gravel pit and bulldozer corral on Fairfax Avenue, across from a 99 Cents Only store–have promised an exciting new development. On Monday, architect Renzo Piano unveiled plans for a 200-foot-by-180-foot structure clad in travertine, marble and glass, which will be named the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion (after the L.A. couple who recently gave the museum $55 million).

The new building isn't exactly exciting: In keeping with the rest of Piano's updates to the museum, the one-story gallery space promises to be clean, functional, and a bit boring. Most interesting is the glass roof, which, according to LACMA, will " flood the galleries with natural light"–an art conservator's nightmare, due to sunlight's deteriorating effect on paintings and drawings.

But anything that adds extra art space to the neighborhood is a welcome addition. The new Piano building is yet another turn in the architectural churn that has taken place in the surrounding Fairfax district in recent years: from the unholy yet awesome fusing of the Hollywood Farmers Market and The Grove shopping center, to rampant, recession-be-damned new office and condo construction along Wilshire Boulevard.

More on the new LACMA is at Curbed LA.


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