Architecture, Plan and Environment

Of particular interest to students of architecture and critics of the new Los Angeles County Museum is this selection of designs and plans for the new Museum, which range from the earliest schematic sketches to final detailed drawings. The creative evolution of a monumental building is often taken for granted by the public; seeing this exhibition gives the lie to the misconception that a plan must spring, full-blown, from the brain of some Wrightian genius. Rather, the building is seen as a hybrid of ideas forged into a whole; the Museum might be said to have sprung from the multiple heads of a corporate architect. The most Interesting part of the exhibit are the planning considerations and the many rough, widely diverging solutions; “The Campus Scheme,” “The Void Scheme,” “The Island Scheme,” and the final plan, which is a composite of all of them. Seen are the personal conceptions of space and sculptural form balanced against the determining realities of structural feasibility, accessibility, and working space. What might have been included, however, was an analysis of the reasons for the selection of the present plan and the rejection of the others.

––Emily Wasserman