renzo piano building workshop: resnick pavilion LACMA renzo piano building workshop: resnick pavilion LACMA
oct 06, 2010

renzo piano building workshop: resnick pavilion LACMA

the lynda and stewart resnick exhibition pavilion at the los angeles county museum of art by renzo piano building workshop image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

italian architect renzo piano has unveiled a new wing of the los angeles county museum of art on october 2nd, 2010. the glass and marble-clad ‘resnick pavilion’ expands the museum’s exhibition space by 45,000 square feet (4,200 square meters). it is named after los angeles-based philanthropists lynda and stewart resnick who made a 45 million dollar donation (plus 10 million dollars in artwork). the new building is a minimalist rectangle of glass and stone with a zigzagging roof that filters a generous amount of light. an entirely open space on one floor, one plan, illuminated entirely by natural light, it is lauded as the largest naturally lit, open-plan museum space worldwide.

the building showcases its mechanical systems by pushing it to the exterior, highlighting them in bright red, bulbous elements. the giant duct-like components house the technical rooms as well as the air-handling units. at night, the glass walls that line the pavilion transforms the resnick into a lantern structure. LACMA hopes that the pavilion will serve as a town square for the city at all hours.

renzo piano newest ‘machine’ for viewing art image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

‘if you took a sectional look at the building, you would notice that the roof is designed to cut the southern light and soak in the northern light,’ renzo piano says. ‘light is what allows you to be rather extreme or radical when you are creating a space for art, without fearing competition with the artwork because light is always good for art.’

detail image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

‘the building is more than a building: it expresses a lot of the fundamental ideas about the future of the museum and the definition of the museum. we wanted a place where the whole mission of the encyclopedic museum – the patchwork of cultures, the art of all time – could be in one place. the resnick pavilion is about mixing art of different times and places, but for me it’s just as important to mix audiences and to take forward this idea that we have a town square, that the audiences will mix,‘ says michael govan, director of LACMA.

the roof image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

the beauty of renzo piano’s design for the resnick pavilion is its flexibility. because it’s all on one level, you can pick the size for your exhibition; you don’t have to be bound to a box of a certain size, which is true of almost all the other spaces of LACMA. curators can adjust the new space for big shows and little shows and have a much more agile mix.

installation view of walter de maria’s ‘the 2000 sculpture’ in the resnick pavilion image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

currently the three exhibitions are on view: ‘eye for the sensual: selections from the resnick collection’; ‘olmec: colossal masterworks of ancient mexico’; and ‘fashioning fashion: european dress in detail, 1700-1915’.

inside the gallery pavilion image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

a view into the exhibition ‘olmec: colossal masterworks of ancient mexico’ image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

the entrance image © 2010 Museum Associates/LACMA photo courtesy of LACMA

a new building will be added soon … LACMA has confirmed that its new restaurant will open in early 2011, no later than the end of march, just north of the BP grand entrance pavilion and across from the parking garage elevators.

LACMA restaurant coming soon

see the interactive tour of the pavilion on LA times

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