Harvard Art Museums

exterior view of the Harvard Art Museums; photo by Nic Lehoux
exterior view of the Harvard Art Museums; photo by Nic Lehoux

It has been a great few weeks – indeed, a great year – for new museum buildings. It gets even better this weekend when the Harvard Art Museums will open a new building. The incredible structure, designed by Renzo Piano, unites Harvard’s three separate museums under a vast glass roof.

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Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center

Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center
Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Center; photograph by Daniel Chavkin, courtesy of Palm Springs Art Museum

This weekend, the Palm Springs Art Museum will open its new Architecture and Design Center in a restored mid-century modern building. The A+D Center is an important extension of the museum’s facilities as well as its exhibitions and programs.

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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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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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