LACMA expansion

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, Josh Geidel, nichols, Java

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

LACMA expansion

Postby nichols » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:02 pm

Thought there had been discussion of this, but couldn't find it.
Image
Description below from the LA Conservancy "Curating the City" tour.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd.

http://lacma.org/
http://www.curatingthecity.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angele ... eum_of_Art


William L. Periera and Associates, 1965;
renovations by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, 1982-83
This complex originally comprised three raised
structures forming a courtyard above a water plaza.
The plaza was later filled in, and the museum underwent
major renovations in the 1980s.

In 2004, architect Renzo Piano was brought in to unify the campus and add several structures, including the BP Pavilion (see below) Artist Jeff Koons designed the train on a crane installation proposed for this new main entrance at Wilshire and Ogden.

http://www.lacma.org/info/TransformingProgress.aspx

Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Tony
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 718
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:42 pm
Location: The Desert
Contact:

Postby Tony » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:42 pm

I've always liked this Ed Rusha painting!

Image

Tony
Tony Merchell

Architectural Photographer
www.glassandsteel.com

User avatar
scowsa
Modern Guru
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Culver City, CA

Postby scowsa » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:58 pm

We saw the model for this work when we were there last year, but could not see it anywhere when visiting the Magritte exhibit.

Then I read in the LA Times this week about some changes:
"Visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will get an alfresco welcome when its new entrance pavilion opens next winter, instead of the glassed-in greeting initially envisioned two years ago by architect Renzo Piano.

The switch comes at the behest of museum director Michael Govan who, after being hired away from New York's Dia Art Foundation a year ago, decided that a glass pavilion would be a waste of good Southern California weather."

Full article at
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-lacma9mar09,1,4696875.story

Incidentally, when visiting New York, try and take the time to visit Dia: Beacon, the skylit former factory on the Hudson River in Beacon, N.Y., whose renovation Govan managed. It's a nice train ride up the Hudson and it has some very large pieces (by such folks as Flavin, Serra and Heizer) that most museums could not accomodate.

User avatar
Lynxwiler
Modern Guru
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Far from the crowds in downtown LA

Postby Lynxwiler » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:03 pm

We did talk about LACMA's expansion and how it affected the May Co building at Fairfax: http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... lacma+west

By the way, no one's mentioned this little tidbit, but I'm tickled to think it may actually happen if LACMA can dig up the cash for it. Th absurdity of it makes me smile.


---------------

Image

Image
This Is Not a Very Large Train Engine Hanging From a Crane at LACMA
Not yet, anyway

By TOM CHRISTIE
Friday, February 2, 2007 - 3:00 pm
http://www.laweekly.com/art+books/art/t ... cma/15561/

When the artist Jeff Koons told the crowd at LACMA Thursday night that in the past he’d worried that his signature pink blowup-bunny piece said a little too much about his sexuality, museum director Michael Govan responded wryly, “I’m going to be thinking about that for a while.â€￾

It was an evening of surprises, some small, some deep, one of them huge — literally. Govan sat down with Koons in the first of a promised series of conversations with artists. The two men sat to the right of the screen, upon which Govan showed slides, primarily of Koons’ work. Govan is young, attractive, smart and knowledgeable, and, significantly, enthusiastic. His pleasure in Koons’ work and in the task at hand was palpable, and bodes well for the future of the institution and the city — as would become abundantly clear before the night was out.

Koons, meanwhile, has always seemed the sort of clever, wildly successful artist-cum-businessman one could afford to hate, or at least to distrust with bilious envy. But if the audience were expecting someone who wore his intellectual flair on his body, along with, say, funny hair and multicolored tennis shoes, they were disappointed. (There were some funny-haired people in the audience, and they were sitting together – does LACMA provide a special row?) Either he is a very good actor, or Koons is in reality a soft-spoken, thoughtful and articulate man who believes that the artist’s “journeyâ€￾ begins with the “acceptance of self.â€￾

At one point a questioner in the audience addressed the result of Koons’ own self-acceptance, suggesting that his work is “cynical.â€￾ Koons seemed to take a slightly deeper breath; he’s heard this before. “I’m not cynical,â€￾ he said with deliberation. “My definition of cynicality is when you have more information than you reveal. I try to reveal everything I know. Every day I try to be as generous as I can be.â€￾

Govan showed slides from Koons’ childhood in Pennsylvania, where his father was an interior decorator. It was the senior Koons’ showroom in which young Jeff would first show his artwork. “I learned my aesthetics from my dad,â€￾ he said, and indeed you could see in the showroom the sort of cheesy baroque quality found in much of Koons’ work. Another slide showed little boy Koons and his sister with their Easter baskets: think bunnies and eggs. And balloons. And puppies.

“I believe the only thing an artist can do is trust their instincts,â€￾ he said later.

Govan moved on to a slide of Salvador Dalí in front of one of his paintings. The photo was taken by Koons himself when, as a teenager, he’d gone to New York and met the great surrealist. Today, Koons owns the Dalí painting, which tells us quite a bit about not just his success but also his interest in the past, both personal and artwise. He also owns a couple of Magrittes, including one of the better ones in LACMA’s current exhibition (“Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images,â€￾ which ties Magritte to a number of contemporary artists). Of course, Koons is himself represented in the show, with a stainless-steel bunny, a bronzed lifeboat and a train engine cast in steel, which sits on a pedestal close to one of Magritte’s most famous images (Time Transfixed), of a train emerging from a fireplace.

Koons has another train piece in mind, and Govan has it in mind for LACMA. If it happens — and it will take considerable effort and funding — it will be big, very big. Govan showed a slide of a toy-train steam engine hanging nose-down from a crane. He followed that with a short film of the piece in action: the engine cranking up, its wheels slowly beginning to spin, faster and faster until it’s going full bore, with steam puffing from its chimney, its whistle blowing; after a minute or so it slows and stops. It may be difficult to imagine this, but watching the engine do this hanging in midair is very cool.

And that was just the model. Govan wants the full-scale, 161-foot-tall piece at the museum, and LACMA has begun feasibility studies (thanks to a $1 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation). To be located at a redesigned entrance on Wilshire Boulevard, between the Ahmanson Building and the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum (which will be home to the Broad collection’s many Koons), the finished sculpture would be visible, Govan said, from downtown to the east, Sunset Boulevard to the north, the 10 freeway to the south and Canter’s Deli to the west. (Actually, he didn’t say that last bit, but it’s true nevertheless.) The engine would start up three times a day, at noon, 3 and 6. It wouldn’t be a real train engine, Koons said (this is not a train), but it would be “an absolutely authentic visceral experience.â€￾

Koons noted earlier that his aim as an artist is to take people on a journey. “And maybe,â€￾ added Govan, “even to the museum.â€￾

egads
Mondo Lounge Lizard
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:25 pm
Location: Long Beach CA

Postby egads » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:45 pm

I was just there last weekend. Why does this expansion/renewal have to close the best thing that ever happened to the place? The old May Co. parking structure.

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:55 pm

TM wrote:I've always liked this Ed Rusha painting!

Image

Tony




Aaahh, LACMA back in the day.

I loved how it floated in water.
Now the water scultpture pond doesn't even have water in it.
Times have changed.

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Fri May 25, 2007 9:44 pm

The new building does seem to blend in nicely, although still under construction.

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

Postby nichols » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:05 pm

Now it looks like the May Co. building is getting a makeover.
Image
Image
"Phase II is scheduled to include the construction of a new Special Exhibitions Pavillion and the renovation of LACMA West. The nearly 70-year-old Streamline Moderne structure, historically home for the May Company department store, holds the potential to facilitate growth crucial to the museum's aims."

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:25 am

While I did not think the exterior needed such modification, I am glad that itis not forgotten in the renovation. Similarly, I would love for the Japanese Pavilion and sculpture garden to receive some attention as it now seems disconnected and the sculpture garden is closed.

User avatar
Futura Girl
Lotta Living Hostess
Lotta Living Hostess
Posts: 4161
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:54 pm
Location: Las VEGAS babay!
Contact:

Postby Futura Girl » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:29 pm

gee whiz...
leave the buildings alone - ARCHITECTURE IS ART, TOO!

why don't they paint some updates on the the art, then... for instance this Georges de la Tour painting could use some more light in it - i can't see what's going on?

Image
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

User avatar
Futura Girl
Lotta Living Hostess
Lotta Living Hostess
Posts: 4161
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:54 pm
Location: Las VEGAS babay!
Contact:

Postby Futura Girl » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:31 pm

p.s. nix - the old discussion was on our original discussion board

here are some of our past discussions on the subject:
http://www.lottaliving.com/oldBB/thread ... 1&f=000336
http://www.lottaliving.com/oldBB/thread ... 1&f=000312
http://www.lottaliving.com/oldBB/thread ... 1&f=000280
http://www.lottaliving.com/oldBB/thread ... 1&f=000144
And the longest discussion on the topic was here:
http://www.lottaliving.com/oldBB/thread ... 1&f=000267

the ORIGINAL LACMA was my favorite building in L.A. prior to the bad remuddles since then, that is...
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:43 pm

Futura Girl wrote:gee whiz...
leave the buildings alone - ARCHITECTURE IS ART, TOO!

why don't they paint some updates on the the art, then... for instance this Georges de la Tour painting could use some more light in it - i can't see what's going on?

Image


Funny.

True enough. And far more people see such a classic streamline masterpiece than will take notice of the cast of light against the model in that de la Tour.

egads
Mondo Lounge Lizard
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:25 pm
Location: Long Beach CA

Postby egads » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:24 pm

My art teacher in high school pointed out that it was pretty stupid to put it on top of the La Brea tar pits in the first place.

User avatar
Lynxwiler
Modern Guru
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Far from the crowds in downtown LA

Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:48 pm

nichols wrote:Now it looks like the May Co. building is getting a makeover.
Image


I'm not sure, based on the above image, if the facade will be refaced with a new advertising skin, scaffolded with megaboard advertising screens, or projected upon.

Any ideas what this is?

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

Postby nichols » Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:40 pm

The new Chris Breed sculpture is taking shape outside the new museum

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Artist Chris Burden's collection of restored streetlights will cast LACMA in 'Urban Light.'

By Susan Freudenheim, Special to The Times
January 30, 2008

"I'VE been driving by these buildings for 40 years, and it's always bugged me how this institution turned its back on the city," Chris Burden said the other day as he sat in a new public plaza facing Wilshire Boulevard at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Linking the soon-to-open Broad Contemporary Art Museum and the museum's original campus, this plaza is taking shape as the setting for Burden's largest sculpture to date, "Urban Light," an installation of 202 restored and fully operational vintage streetlights...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... 6975.story

davidk6
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:33 pm
Location: LA one month in winter and one month in summer; NJ suburbs of NYC the rest of the year

LACMA in the NYT Today

Postby davidk6 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:43 pm

at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/arts/ ... wanted=all

Nice aerial view at the above URL.

February 10, 2008
Art
To Have and Give Not
By EDWARD WYATT

LOS ANGELES

FOR years Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist whose influence seems to waft into so many corners of this city’s cultural scene, has promised that Los Angeles will take its place among the world’s great arts capitals.

So the art world was taken aback last month when, on the eve of the opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a $56 million addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for which he chose the architect and paid the bill, Mr. Broad abruptly seemed to undermine his own cause.

Rather than pledge to donate his extensive collection of contemporary art to the new institution — a move that some viewed as inevitable, given that his name was to be on the door — Mr. Broad said he had decided instead to keep it in his private foundation. Far better, he argued, to lend the 2,000-odd works to museums around the world than to risk their being largely relegated to storage in Los Angeles.

If the decision has not cast a pall over what has been billed as the museum’s breakout moment, it has certainly raised questions about its ability to execute an ambitious three-stage expansion plan that is being promoted by its director as a wholesale transformation of the institution. Suddenly the sense that Los Angeles was poised to rival New York and London as the center of contemporary art has given way to the impression that even its most prominent booster might not be fully behind the city and its largest cultural institution.

Mr. Broad says nothing could be further from the truth.

“I have total confidence in Lacma,â€￾ he said in an interview last month at his office in West Los Angeles. But he added firmly, “We did not build the collection and are not continuing to build it to have 80 percent of it in storage,â€￾ something that often happens with large collections once they are passed along to a single museum. “I’ve seen too much of that happen.â€￾

With 58,000 square feet of new exhibition space, a total roughly twice the size of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the centerpiece of an extensive overhaul of the Los Angeles museum’s campus and collections that is expected to continue for much of the next decade. Given the scale of its ambitions, the museum clearly has a lot to lose from any perception that it does not fully control its own future.

“Anything that makes Lacma more of a centerpiece of L.A.’s cultural life is a great thing, and this is a real milestone in its development as an encyclopedic museum," said Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, a former RAND Corporation researcher and an author of its 2007 report “A Vision for the Arts in Los Angeles.â€￾ “The challenge now is that it needs to get up to the next level.â€￾

The quandary faced by the museum in both celebrating and exhibiting its independence from a prominent donor is evident when its charismatic director, Michael Govan, who took over in 2006, dismisses the importance of Mr. Broad’s decision while simultaneously admitting that he hopes he will relent to some degree.

“He has 2,000 works, so there’s plenty to go around,â€￾ Mr. Govan said recently. Both he and Mr. Broad (whose name rhymes with road) say the museum still has first choice of the most desirable pieces in Mr. Broad’s art trove: works by luminaries like Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.

And on a recent tour of the new building, Mr. Govan also revealed his continued hope that once Mr. Broad and his wife, Edythe, see the public’s reaction to the completed addition, they will turn their current loans to the new building into permanent gifts.

“This is the first step, I think,â€￾ he said.

Mr. Govan acknowledges that the museum’s identity as encyclopedic has shifted in recent years, particularly since Mr. Broad’s largess put contemporary art at the center of its geography. While it is most often described as a comprehensive museum in the vein of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it enjoys depth in certain areas — Korean art, for example — yet has limited resources in others.

“It was never contemplated that contemporary art would be such a strong center of the museum,â€￾ Mr. Govan said. “It has added immeasurably to the identity of the institution as well as to its collection.â€￾

That devotion to contemporary art is destined only to grow under Mr. Govan. The museum’s plans for a second and third phase of its transformation call for contemporary outdoor sculptures to dominate the grounds, with a proposed sculpture of a locomotive by Mr. Koons suspended from a crane high above the entrance.

Mr. Govan, who ran the Dia Art Foundation in New York for 12 years before landing in Los Angeles, is in many respects the perfect person to lead the museum’s transformation. At Dia he showed considerable imagination in expanding the audience for contemporary art by transforming an abandoned biscuit factory into a sprawling light-drenched space suitable for large-scale works.

But to be lured, he required some assurances about the intentions of his most prominent patron. Mr. Govan said he had read news reports that the previous director, Andrea Rich, resigned in part because of disputes with Mr. Broad, including one over hiring a curator for the new Broad contemporary art center. At the time both Mr. Broad and Ms. Rich said publicly that it was simply time for her to move on.

Mr. Govan said he had met with Mr. Broad and made clear that he expected to have control and direction over the Broad Museum, which would function as just another division. “His answer was, simply, ‘Yes,’ â€￾ he said.

Today Mr. Govan even plays down the clout that Mr. Broad wields at the museum.

“He has no more control than the other 45 people sitting around the table at the board meeting,â€￾ Mr. Govan said. “I don’t know how many people in New York think Eli Broad is the chair, or he’s the only donor.â€￾ On the contrary, he said, Mr. Broad has never been chairman and “he’s not even the largest donor to the institution in its history,â€￾ an honor that goes to the Ahmanson Foundation, which has given some $100 million, much of it for acquiring European paintings.

Since Mr. Broad announced his big gift in 2003, “you’ve seen more investment by other people: more board members, more annual giving, more capital giving,â€￾ Mr. Govan added. “So the cliché is kind of backwards, that he’s got his hands on and he’s in charge and doing this.

“In fact, it’s just the opposite. After he made his investment, it allowed the institution to build strength, and he’s been letting the institution do its work.â€￾

Yet few would dispute that Mr. Broad has been an outsize presence on the board for years, especially since 2001, when the museum embarked in earnest on reimagining its 20-acre campus.

Like Los Angeles itself, formed out of the haphazard conjoining of dozens of small cities and independent communities, the museum grew in disjointed fashion. Established as an independent entity in 1961, it opened a three-building Lincoln Center-like campus in 1965, designed by the Los Angeles architect William Pereira on six acres along Wilshire Boulevard.

Two more buildings were added in the 1980s, including a pavilion for Japanese art and a center for modern and contemporary art, which increased gallery space by one-third. In 1994 the museum bought the May Company building, an Art Deco landmark on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire, expanding the campus westward and roughly doubling its size.

But the menagerie of buildings created confusion for visitors. As part of the initial plan to reorganize, the museum held an architecture competition for a new contemporary-art building and planned to separate each geographic or epochal subset of its collections.

When the designs came in, it was Mr. Broad who championed the most radical option: tearing down most of the six-building complex and replacing it with a vast new structure by Rem Koolhaas, the cerebral Dutch architect.

So persuasive was Mr. Koolhaas, supported by Mr. Broad, that only after announcing their plans did the trustees seemed to grasp that this tabula rasa approach would force the entire complex to shut down for three years and require all the money to be raised upfront, rather than in stages.

After county residents voted down a tax increase to pay for the museum expansion, Mr. Broad took matters into his own hands in 2003, pledging $50 million for one new building for contemporary art and personally lobbying the Italian architect Renzo Piano to design it.

“I went to see Renzo, and I said ‘You’ve got to do this building,’ â€￾ he recalled.

In his characteristic dark suit and tie, his white hair perfectly trimmed and parted, Mr. Broad exudes the confidence and élan that one can imagine swaying even a seasoned star architect. He said he had offered Mr. Piano three simple reasons to take up his invitation. “One, we have the money. Two, there’s a program,â€￾ or a clear architectural goal. “And three, you only have to deal with the director and me.â€￾

Mr. Piano one-upped Mr. Broad, saying he would design the building only if he could execute a master plan for the entire campus. The museum assented.

Phase 1 of that plan opens to members this week and to the general public on Feb. 16, with a three-day “free community weekendâ€￾ running through Presidents’ Day.

In addition to the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, the first phase includes an airy solar-powered entrance pavilion, financed with a $25 million donation from — and somewhat controversially named for — the oil company BP; a central concourse connecting the campus’s westernmost structure with the 1965 buildings to the east; and a new grand staircase in the atrium of the Ahmanson Building.

Mr. Govan has also made his imprint on the design. After arriving in April 2006, he added glass to the Broad building and changed the floor color. He commissioned an installation of vintage street lamps by the artist Chris Burden in front of the entrance pavilion, and a sort of palm tree retrospective by the artist Robert Irwin.

Now, when people approach the museum, “they’re going to see one, two, three, four artworks before they even think of buying a ticket,â€￾ Mr. Govan said. “That’s a completely different dynamic of entry.â€￾

In another sign that Mr. Govan is holding his own, a separate five-member board created for the Broad Museum has essentially been disbanded. Mr. Broad said that board was intended only to oversee a $10 million gift for acquisitions, which has now been spent, mainly on a Richard Serra sculpture that takes up half of the ground floor of the new building.

Mr. Govan insists that Mr. Broad has no influence over day-to-day decisions regarding the Broad museum. “A lot of the art installation is a surprise to him,â€￾ he said. “He had to sign off on the loans so he sort of knows what the selection, plus or minus, is, but not specifically.â€￾

But Mr. Broad also noted that he and Mr. Govan have talked almost daily, and sometimes several times a day, during the final phase of construction and preparations for the opening. Joanne Heyler, the chief curator for the Broad Art Foundation, has been at the museum daily to oversee the installation of Mr. Broad’s art.

Phase 2 will bring more changes: a new exhibition pavilion, a 420-ton rock sculpture and the Koons train — all told, an investment of some $200 million. Phase 3 will involve the more complete renovation of the existing buildings on the eastern part of the campus.

The long-term plan is also to shore up the financial strength of the museum, whose endowment of $170 million is dwarfed by institutions like the Museum of Modern Art ($650 million last year).

Visitors will shoulder some of that burden. The daily admission fee will rise to $12 from $10, still a far cry from the $20 the Modern has charged since its expansion, and the cost of self-parking to $7 from $5. Mr. Broad said the museum hoped to boost annual attendance from its current level of 660,000 to more than one million.

Since taking over, Mr. Govan has also added several new directors, strengthening the museum’s ties with Hollywood, with the addition of players like Michael Lynton, the chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

With a new chairman, Andrew Gordon, who is in charge of West Coast operations for Goldman Sachs, the museum hopes to make inroads into wealthy segments of Los Angeles that have historically been stingy in contributing to art institutions.

To hear Mr. Broad tell it, the museum is now on a much sounder footing for the future, his own decision regarding his collection notwithstanding.

“I feel that some burden is off my shoulders,â€￾ he said. “I’m not getting any younger. And look, I don’t want to be a lone ranger in all of this.

“I’d like to make the largest gift, and I liked to help raise a lot of money. But now that we’ve got other, younger trustees of some prominence and wealth, I’m delighted that they’re very engaged. And we’ve got a great leader in Michael, so it all feels pretty good to me.â€￾
Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

User avatar
scowsa
Modern Guru
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Culver City, CA

Postby scowsa » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:02 pm

Note that 2/16-18 is a "free community weekend" but you still have to book tickets for a time slot.

http://www.lacma.org/events/EventsBCAMBorn.html
scowsa

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

Postby nichols » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:37 pm

Image
Image
LaBonge, Piano, Broad, Yaroslavsky, Govan, Burke...
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Eli Broad in front of Richard Serra piece
Image
Image

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:01 am

Looks like a nice addition.
The red is dramatic.
I am glad that balconies are added, like the Getty Center.

davidk6
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:33 pm
Location: LA one month in winter and one month in summer; NJ suburbs of NYC the rest of the year

The NYT architecture critic doesn't agree

Postby davidk6 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:03 am

ChrisLAXEncounter wrote:Looks like a nice addition.
The red is dramatic.
I am glad that balconies are added, like the Getty Center.


Here's the review:

February 15, 2008
Architecture Review
Art Museum Mixes Pomp and Hint of Pop
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

LOS ANGELES — This city is growing up, and I count myself among those who see that as a mixed blessing. Over the last decade or so it has embarked on its most ambitious cultural building boom in a generation, adding a new dimension to a city whose notable civic monuments have famously been its freeways. But with exceptions like Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, these projects have often failed to live up to Los Angeles’s great tradition of architectural experimentation.

The new Broad Contemporary Art Museum is no different. An addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it had been viewed as a way of cleaning up what many saw as a muddle of mismatched buildings. Beyond that, many hoped it would serve as a striking monument to the city’s growing power in the contemporary art world.

Designed by Renzo Piano, the new addition takes a mostly pragmatic approach to the site. Mr. Piano reorganizes the complex along a strong central axis, giving it a clarity that it desperately needed. His top-floor galleries, which take advantage of the exquisite California sunlight, will no doubt thrill those whose main focus is how a museum’s design makes the art look.

But architecture is about more than the quality of light. It’s where our dreams collide with practical realities, which makes it perhaps the most difficult of arts. As a monument to the civic aspirations of Los Angeles, Mr. Piano’s design is remarkably uninspired. There is little of the formal freedom that is at the heart of the city’s architectural legacy; nor is there much evidence of the structural refinement that we have come to expect in Mr. Piano’s best work. The museum’s monumental travertine form and lipstick-red exterior stairways are a curious mix of pomposity and pop-culture references. It’s an architecture without conviction.

To those with long memories, the design’s failures may merely seem like more of the same. The original 1965 complex, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, was a pseudo-Modernist complex set around a central court and reflecting pools in imitation of Lincoln Center in New York. Within months of the museum’s opening, oil began oozing up from the nearby La Brea Tar Pits, and the pools had to be paved over.

About 20 years later the museum tried again, hiring Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to conceal Mr. Pereira’s complex behind a towering new entry portal along Wilshire Boulevard. The addition’s limestone and glass-brick facade only made things worse, transforming a second-rate work of architecture into kitsch.

Salvation seemed at hand a few years ago, when the museum’s board selected the moody architectural visionary Rem Koolhaas to rethink the sprawling complex. With typical cheek, he suggested demolishing the entire ensemble except the plaza, which would be used to house offices. Resting above the plaza on concrete columns, the new museum was conceived as a vast warehouse for art beneath a translucent tentlike roof.

Mr. Koolhaas’s design reflected a shrewd awareness of what made Los Angeles one of the most original urban creations of the 20th century. The elevated concrete slab eerily evoked a displaced fragment of elevated freeway; the translucent plastic dome, supported by curving steel beams, mirrored the early fantasies of Archigram, a group of British architects who saw the city’s informality and apparent lack of cultural depth as a model of social freedom in the 1960s.

In the end the board could not raise the money. And the boldness of Mr. Koolhaas’s vision presented a challenge for Mr. Piano. How to live up to such audacity? Would the refinement of Mr. Piano’s architecture look too timid?

He began reasonably enough. To give some order to the campus, he created a new open-air entrance pavilion that connects a generous plaza along Wilshire Boulevard in the front to a public park and underground parking structure in back. A covered walkway running parallel to Wilshire connects the pavilion to the old campus on one side and to the Broad addition on the other. By situating all the circulation at the rear of the complex along open-air walkways, Mr. Piano creates a strong visual connection to both the park and more distant views of the Santa Monica Mountains. More important, he clears up space inside so it can be turned over to the art.

This approach seems sensible enough, but it never engages the city’s singularity. The great architects who built along Wilshire Boulevard in the 1920s were among the first to celebrate the emergence of American car culture, creating low-flung structures whose horizontal lines echoed the traffic flowing along the boulevard. By contrast Mr. Piano broke the museum into two identical blocks, which appear lifeless from the street. And if to some the entrance pavilion’s flat, square canopy brings to mind a gas station, the reference falls flat. I’ve seen gas stations in Southern California with far more architectural ambition.

Just as perplexing is the clash of aesthetic languages. Mounted on top of the museum’s aged travertine blocks, the sleek white panels of the sawtooth roof seem oddly incongruous. An exterior escalator conjures obvious associations with the Pompidou Center in Paris, Mr. Piano’s breakthrough project with Richard Rogers in the 1970s. But there is none of the Pompidou’s ebullient sense of play. Instead, the structural matrix of bright red columns that support the escalator and walkway canopies seems flimsy.

I suspect that museum officials are nervously aware of the addition’s shortcomings, so much so that they have hidden the structures behind artworks. Two enormous banners adorning the building along Wilshire Boulevard disguise the main facade. A sculpture by Chris Burden of vintage streetlamps culled from various neighborhoods in the city block the view from the street to the entrance pavilion.

Many will be tempted to forgive Mr. Piano once they enter the galleries. Since his Menil Collection building opened in Houston in 1986, Mr. Piano’s use of light has inspired fervent admiration. The Broad Museum may be the closest he has come since then to creating an atmosphere in which viewers’ awareness of natural shifts in daylight heightens their experience of the art. From inside the galleries, the bleached oak floors and the intricate structural system supporting the sawtooth roof have a relaxed, informal quality. The sharp angle of the roof’s louvers opens the space up to the California sky.

None of this distracts from the art. On the contrary, the soft light, filtered through a system of screens, helps rivet the eye. Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dogâ€￾ looks as if it were about to spring off its pedestal; every nuance in tone and color in a Jasper Johns painting comes vibrantly to life.

The subtle shifts in mood continue as you descend through the building. The regularity of the second-floor galleries is momentarily broken by a louvered wall that allows visitors to catch glimpses of the palms arranged by the artist Robert Irwin on the sidewalk along the boulevard. The south gallery on the first floor is pierced by a long window, so that as you circle the artworks, you can gaze out at the park in the rear. (The rusted steel plates of Richard Serra’s “Bandâ€￾ look fabulous in this generously proportioned room. When the same work was installed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the spring, it looked comparatively cramped, as if struggling to find room to breathe.)

There are other reasons for optimism. The museum is planning a second expansion phase, also designed by Mr. Piano, calling for a 40,000-square-foot warehouse space that will be used for temporary exhibitions and enveloped in a field of palm trees. Mr. Piano said it will also have a sawtooth roof structure but simpler than the one on the Broad building, in keeping with the industrial look of its design. And the museum’s director, Michael Govan, said he still hopes the worst parts of the old complex will be improved, although he acknowledged that any such move is years away.

But even if you grant Mr. Piano his due as a competent planner, it’s hard not to chide him for his thin, superficial reading of Los Angeles. Over the last decade or so, buildings like the Getty Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Caltrans Headquarters (for the state’s transportation authority) have added a new civic dimension to the city’s architecture. They have also exposed a longstanding battle over the city’s identity, between those who revel in its informality and those who seek to raise its status by following more traditional architectural models.

On one side are people like Mr. Koolhaas who believe that Los Angeles’s emergence as the greatest experimental laboratory in 20th-century American architecture was rooted in a rejection of worn-out East Coast traditions. From this point of view the most important architectural achievements — from the streamlined department stores that rose on Wilshire Boulevard in the 1920s to the residences designed by Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra and Mr. Gehry — sprang from an effort to come to terms with the city’s strangeness, its urban sprawl, its embrace of car culture, its mix of natural and artificial landscapes. The most inspiring recent architecture has tended to build on that legacy while taking a more enlightened view of local and environmental concerns.

On the other side are those who embrace East Coast models as an antidote to the city’s ethereality and all that freedom. Such repressive conservatism is driven by Old World anxieties about mixing high and low as well as a nagging sense of cultural insecurity. And in many ways it seemed to crystallize in the travertine geometries of Richard Meier’s staid 1997 Getty Center, a $1.3 billion cultural fortress that looks down its nose at the city from atop an exclusive Brentwood hilltop. Cars are banned from its precincts.

The Broad Museum seems lost somewhere in the middle, like a bicyclist trapped on a freeway. If the flimsy entrance canopy and covered walkways are intended as a riff on Los Angeles’s pop culture traditions, they seems no more than an afterthought. And the Broad Museum’s ostentatious facade seems oblivious to its surroundings.

What compensation you’re left with is the gorgeous California light. The rest may protect you from the occasional rainstorm, but it’s not engaging architecture.
Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:09 am

An extremely well written review, even if I disagree with much of the content.
The BCAM was conceived and built with the idea of blending this building into LACMA's pre-existing campus, one which includes disparate architectural gems like the streamline modern May Co. bldg, the dramatic & imposing Anderson building and the whimsical and traditional Japanese pavillion - along with the traditional buildings.

There is no need for another huge statement along Wilshire as the Anderson blg handles such.

As far as engaging the car culture, I like getting away from the mini-mall look. The best places in town, like Universal City Walk, the Grove, the Getty Center and the Village Green exclude cars and create a village, pedestrian-friendly environment and the BCAM compliments such nicely.

davidk6
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:33 pm
Location: LA one month in winter and one month in summer; NJ suburbs of NYC the rest of the year

Postby davidk6 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:23 pm

ChrisLAXEncounter wrote:An extremely well written review, even if I disagree with much of the content.


He's the head architecture critic of the NYT, so it's not surprising.


ChrisLAXEncounter wrote:The BCAM was conceived and built with the idea of blending this building into LACMA's pre-existing campus, one which includes disparate architectural gems like the streamline modern May Co. bldg, the dramatic & imposing Anderson building and the whimsical and traditional Japanese pavillion - along with the traditional buildings.

There is no need for another huge statement along Wilshire as the Anderson blg handles such.

As far as engaging the car culture, I like getting away from the mini-mall look. The best places in town, like Universal City Walk, the Grove, the Getty Center and the Village Green exclude cars and create a village, pedestrian-friendly environment and the BCAM compliments such nicely.


I haven't been to LACMA for about a month, so I haven't seen the final version of the facade or any of the interior of BCAM, so I don't know how I feel about it.

BTW, I'm surprised that you cite the Grove, but not the Farmers Market; both are great, but the FM is real old LA -- around since 1934.

Ecluding cars is eactly what he's talking about -- like the Wilshire side of Bullock's and the Wilshire side of the old May Co. building; the idea was for the building to be so attractive to passing motorists that they pull into the (rear) parking lots and enter through the front, i.e., parking side, entrance. Universal doesn't count at all this way.

Dave
Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

User avatar
Synthetrix
Modern Master
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:02 pm
Location: Wilmington, CA
Contact:

Postby Synthetrix » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:22 pm

The wife and I are excited to see the new BCAM tomorrow night!
Synthetrix Photos of the Forgotten
http://photosoftheforgotten.synthetrix.com/

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:25 am

LA Curbed also takes note of the NYT scornful evaluation of the BCAM:

In two withering reviews, the Grey Lady's architecture and art critics tear L.A.'s newest cultural addition, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a new one. In his piece, arch-writer Nicolai Ouroussoff uses sentences like, "[BCAM is] architecture without conviction... To those with long memories, the design’s failures may merely seem like more of the same." AND the title of Roberta Smith's BCAM-centric art review ("Rounding Up The Usual Suspects") couldn't display more disdain for our new cultural monument unless it was titled "shaving cream" in big, bold capital letters.

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:33 am

Does the BCAM remind anyone else of Palm Springs with the mid-century style with the narrow vertical supports and the canopy?

Why aren't the landings/balconies on the 2nd and 3rd stories larger - particularly considering what a magnificent view is present to behold?

I also feel as if the singular, narrow elevator to the third floor is far too small and insignificant.

The Barbara Kruger in the clear elevator shaft is excellent.

PS: Are the sculptures returning anytime?

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

Postby nichols » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:06 pm

Now LACMA has purchased a 1960 Welton Becket building across the street from the museum at the SW corner of Wilshire and Ogden. There was once a museum of the holocaust in this building, but it has been vacant and gutted for about 4 or 5 years. Lots of speculation on LACMA's plans for it:

LOS ANGELES TIMES
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
LACMA land grab underscores controversy
By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 14, 2008
COUNCILMAN Tom LaBonge told The Times earlier this week that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art might use its newly acquired piece of land, across Wilshire Boulevard from the LACMA campus, to accommodate a new subway station. Whether that winds up happening -- LACMA itself has been touting the space beneath the old May Co. building, which the museum bought in 1994, as a potential Metro location -- LaBonge's comments gave this significant story a curious, and limiting, spin.

Are we really supposed to believe that LACMA director Michael Govan is eager to share control of the parcel, for which the group of donors known as Museum Associates paid roughly $12 million, with Metro bureaucrats?

In a word: doubtful. Govan is serial builder and extender of museums....


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... 8705.story

ORIGINAL INFO ON THE BUILDING: Photograph of a drawing. "New for Miracle Mile, 6-story offices at Wilshire and Ogden Drive -- $1,400,000 project is first planned here by formerly Midwestern building-developing firm." -- Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated 3 November 1957. "Miracle Mile offices -- Newest office building planned for Los Angeles' Miracle Mile is this six-story structure to be located at 6000 Wilshire Boulevard. Owner is to be Henry Shanedling Sons Corporation, formerly of Minneapolis, doing their first building from Los Angeles headquarters. Welton Becket and Associates, Los Angeles architects and engineers, designed the building. A.W. Ross, realtor and founder of Miracle Mile, handled property leasing." -- typed press release attached to verso.

Title:
Office Building, 6000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 1957

http://digarc.usc.edu/search/controller ... m4737.html

ChrisLAXEncounter
Modern Master
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Village Green, A National Historic Landmark

Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:56 pm

The premature termination of the Red Line at Western, far East of LACMA, Park LaBrea, etc., in part based on the ban on spending $$$ purportedly based on the methane issue is a perfect example of the half-assed nature of the Red Line.

Nevertheless, the MTA has inverse condemnation ability and could easily place the station on the back side, by the park, along 6th street. There is also an grade level parking lot south of Wilshire, so LACMA does not need to sacrifice the new land.

This from LAObserved:

LACMA already owns on south side of Wilshire

In his analysis of the museum's intriguing purchase of a parcel at Wilshire Blvd. and Ogden Avenue, Times critic Christoper Hawthorne writes, "Though the museum hasn't advertised this fact, it already owns a sizable parcel of land on the southern side of Wilshire -- at Wilshire and Spaulding Avenue. After Govan's arrival, LACMA quietly put out a request for proposals from architects for a mixed-use development on the site, now occupied by a surface parking lot." LAT


Return to “Mid Century Modern Preservation Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests