On Wednesday night, renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor spoke with LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan about the concepts behind his plans for LACMA's future presentation of its collections. Peter last spoke at LACMA in 2013 in conjunction with the exhibition The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, when we were in the very early stages of thinking about LACMA's new building. Since that time, Peter and Michael have been working on the concepts behind the building, and Peter and his team have been refining the plans.
During the conversation, Peter and Michael focused on the philosophy and evolution of the thinking around the building. Michael said, "For me, the most exciting thing is this idea of choice, that you could wander through a museum, like you could wander through a park, making your own path." Peter agreed, saying that the building allowed for the installation of shows along main routes, "curating the sequences, curating the neighborhoods or juxtapositions, and allowing for side steps."
As for the change in color from dark to light? Peter's thinking has evolved along with the building, and he wanted it to be elemental, with a mineral tone, very substantial but not slick, and to make the outside feel like the inside.
Since August 2016, LACMA has been hosting meetings and public presentations to discuss the project, and many of the changes in the building design have been in response to public comments. The museum will continue to have an open dialogue with the community as the project moves forward. To learn more about the project, visit buildinglacma.org.