A new cultural icon winds above Wilshire
As the largest museum in the Western United States the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) attracts over 1.2 million visitors annually and houses over 130,000 works.
As part of an ambitious plan to update its east campus the museum has embarked on a $650 million project to unify the permanent collection galleries into a cohesive museum space, while opening the ground level areas to the community. BuroHappold Engineering is providing integrated engineering services for the museum, whose proposed layout requires a relaxed environmental design criteria in order to achieve a reduction in overall energy consumption.
I have found BuroHappold have a unique ability to creatively solve complex structural engineering problems that satisfy artistic integrity while proactively working with city officials to comply with building regulations.
John Bowsher, Vice President
A key challenge for the team was to ensure an ideal environment for both occupant comfort as well as keeping the atmosphere stable for delicate artwork to be displayed.
The proposed curvilinear design will replace four former buildings of the original campus designed by William Pereira and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer. The plan, which calls for the demolition of the original structures, is set to include a one level sinuous building that will span Wilshire Boulevard.
The innovative design allows perimeter galleries with a flexible temperature range for occupant comfort and more stable artwork display, while more delicate art will be placed in interior galleries with tighter temperature and humidity controls.
The building will incorporate extensive use of radiant heating and cooling to minimise energy use and the use of mechanical systems, and will be made solar-ready for the future.
Ron Elad, Associate Principal, Technical Designer
The project will also include a highly progressive water recycling program using recycled rainwater for toilet flushing, cooling towers, and irrigation. Innovative biofiltration planters will be considered for stormwater retention.
The new building will strive for LEED Gold minimum certification with ambitious net zero energy goals, an incredible achievement for a museum.
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