See the latest images of Peter Zumthor’s LACMA redesign

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 Courtesy of Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Pre-environmental impact report activities for the much-discussed Peter Zumthor redesign of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have nudged the museum into sharing some rare, detailed glimpses of what the Swiss architect’s plans for the museum currently look like.

The LA Times spotted a new website for the project which features the new renderings, as well as a timeline, and information on an upcoming public scoping meeting. There’s also an illustrated brochure for the project making the rounds in Miracle Mile neighborhoods. Both the website and pamphlet are hoping to “temper worry in the neighborhoods near the museum about the effects of construction — and to argue that LACMA is not expanding but is instead replacing a group of aging buildings with a single, more efficient one.”

That single, more efficient building would be 24,571 square feet smaller than the four existing LACMA buildings it’s replacing, according to a notice for the August 24 scoping meeting. The building would be made up of of “eight semi-transparent Pavilions that would support an elevated, continuous, transparent main gallery level,” and create dynamic outdoor spaces for visitors.

The new renderings offer up a great view of the Wilshire-spanning section of the museum, which will spill into what’s currently a parking lot on the eastern corner of Wilshire and Spaulding. The museum looks appropriately big and imposing from the street, with stout, wide columns on either side of the boulevard.

The Times felt that overall the designs were a little bit underwhelming (“undercooked” was the exact word), and noted that Zumthor’s firm famously hates churning out renderings, preferring to use scaled-down building models instead. “The images released this week reflect that attitude.”

The timeline put forth on the website devotes now until mid-2018 for design and planning, with construction beginning at that point. The new museum would open in 2023, when the new Purple Line Extension station is expected to be open down the street.

No word on how funding for the project is going, but back in April, the word was that they’d raised almost half the money needed for the $600-million project.

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