First Photo of Zumthor’s Glass House-LACMA

(c) Peter Zumthor

The Wall Street Journal has a profile of Michael Govan that includes the first published image of a model of architect Peter Zumthor’s design for the future LACMA. Reports Christina Binkley :

“Zumthor’s plan, in its current form, involves removing four of LACMA’s eight existing buildings—including a troublesome mishmash of mid–to–late–20th century architecture, which often compels museum-goers to duck in and out of disconnected pavilions during a visit—and replacing them with the museum of the future that Govan has been building in his head since he was an art student. Glass walls that permit the museum’s art to be viewed from as far away as Wilshire Boulevard are key elements of Zumthor’s prototype, which would connect other buildings—including a beloved Japanese pavilion and an Academy of Motion Pictures museum—with an indoor-outdoor art park, where visitors can wander at will and preview exhibitions before entering.…

“Zumthor… says he aims to create ‘a village of experiences. It’s an organic shape, like a water lily, floating and open with glass 360 degrees around,’ he says. There will be a curving perimeter, a sort of wide veranda, surrounding a series of ‘sacred’ transparent galleries, all contained under one giant roof that will be covered with solar panels. The building is designed to produce more energy than it uses and will ‘reexpose the sky that is now blocked by existing structures,’ says Zumthor.

“Govan envisions passersby watching curators set up exhibitions—activities typically shielded from the public. Rather than the usual 60 percent of museum space devoted to back-of-house uses, he wants to reverse the equation, and then some: As much as 80 percent of the square footage will house art on view to the public.”

Much more will be in this summer’s PST Presents show, “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA.”

Views expressed on this blog, which is hosted on but produced independently of it, do not necessarily reflect the views of