R4, Île Seguin

North elevation of R4, R4 application for planning permission dossier, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel
North elevation of R4, R4 application for planning permission dossier, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

In Boulogne-Billancourt, a western suburb of Paris, an island in the Seine is being developed into an “artistic micro-city” designed by Jean Nouvel. The project for Île Seguin will create artists’ studios, commercial gallery and auction spaces, an exhibition hall, and a conference center to transform the island into a modern cultural hub.

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Water Theater Restoration at the Château de Versailles

illustration of Jean-Michel Othoniel's fountain sculptures of the Water Theater grove, image © Jean-Michel Othoniel
illustration of Jean-Michel Othoniel’s fountain sculptures of the Water Theater grove, image © Jean-Michel Othoniel

This summer, André Le Nôtre’s 17th-century Water Theater grove at Versailles has been restored by the landscape designer Louis Benech with contemporary sculptures by Jean-Michel Othoniel – the first new permanent artworks added the garden in over 300 years.

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Guggenheim Helsinki? Not so fast…

Guggenheim Helsinki design competition, view of Helsinki's waterfront; image via ArchDaily
Guggenheim Helsinki design competition, view of Helsinki’s waterfront; image via ArchDaily

Last month, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Helsinki city officials announced an international design competition for a proposed new museum in the Finnish capital. The Guggenheim proposal has been met with disapproval in Helsinki since 2011, and there is no certainty that the design competition will gain public support for the project.

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Richard Serra and Qatar

Richard Serra, East-West/West-East, Image via Qatar Museum Authority
Richard Serra, East-West/West-East, image via Qatar Museums Authority

This spring, coinciding with his first major exhibition in the Middle East, American sculptor Richard Serra launched a public art commission in Qatar entitled East-West/West-East. Serra’s large-scale assemblies of sheet metal are famously minimal and massive, and this site-specific work in Qatar is absolutely monolithic.

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LACMA update

LACMA campus and La Brea Tar Pits. Image credit: Monica Almeida, The New York Times.
LACMA campus and the La Brea Tar Pits alongside Wilshire Boulevard. Photograph by Monica Almeida, The New York Times.

We recently explored LACMA’s new campus plans – codylee.co/lacma.
In short, architect Peter Zumthor has designed a massive new pavilion to replace a dysfunctional set of older buildings. However, officials from the Page Museum identified that Zumthor’s new building could encroach upon and damage the adjacent La Brea Tar Pits, which are an active paleontological research site with important deposits of Ice Age-era fossils.

Today, revised designs show Zumthor’s amoeba-like building sparing the tar pits and instead spreading across Wilshire Boulevard. This is insane bold.

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New Museum in LA: Petersen Automotive Museum

exterior view of the new Petersen Automotive Museum
exterior view of the new Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum first opened in 1994 in a former department store building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, across the street from LACMA and the forthcoming Academy Museum. It is one of the largest automotive museums in the world with a collection of more than 300 vehicles and other objects relating to the history of automobiles. Last summer, the Petersen announced a capital project to redesign its building to mark its 20th anniversary in 2014.

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New Museum in LA: The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

exterior view of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
exterior view of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

At the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, on the southwestern edge of LACMA’s campus, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is constructing the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The project is led by Renzo Piano – the starchitect of LACMA’s adjacent Broad and Resnick pavilions – and will include a renovation of the landmarked May Company Building.

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New Museum in LA: LACMA

Chris Burden, Urban Light, installation view, LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the Western United States with more than 120,000 works in its permanent collection and more than 1 million visitors annually. Its collection is encyclopedic, its programs are exemplary, and its leadership is solid, but LACMA’s mid-Wilshire campus is a hot mess.

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