LACMA Museum

Location: Los Angeles, US.
Type: Competition with OMA Rotterdam. Winner, 1st Prize.
Size: 38,000 M2 / 409,000 SF.
Program: Exhibition Space, Screening Room, Office, Library, Shop, Restaurant.
Client: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The LACMA complex is reconceived as a system of horizontal layers, with exhibition spaces stacked above an open-air plaza. The notions of transparency and uplift, essential to a true understanding of LACMA’s mission, are made manifest in the translucent roof that spans the entire museum floor.

LACMA’s current proliferation across its site is a microcosm of Los Angeles: distributed rather than focused, it inhibits the full unfolding of its potential, both as a museum and as a site. This configuration resists critical mass and inhibits the clarity of its collections. Our proposal consolidates the collections into a whole, instead of a series of pavilions. It focuses spending on the reinvention of LACMA’s image rather than renovation of uninspired buildings. It creates the opportunity for multiple paths, manifold interpretations and cross-curatorial exhibits within a single entity.

We discovered that a consolidated LACMA could perform more efficiently, spend less money on renovation, open up more of the park to the city and create a sense of coherence and the much-needed presence that this museum has lacked for decades.