Proposal for the New LACMA
Graduate Thesis at SCI-Arc   |    2020

Graduate Thesis at SCI-Arc
Thesis Advisor: Tom Wiscombe

Cultural Agent: Marrikka Trotter

This thesis project is a new LACMA museum proposal, which starts from the idea that the museum architecture is a cabinet of parts. Starting from its first inception at the Ashmolean, a museum has always been about collecting and displaying objects to the public. From the cabinets of wonders to the modern gallery, was seen as “microcosms” of civilization's creation- it encapsulates and miniaturizes the world. 

Model kit is a collection, a set of parts, a curation- it’s a museum on an extremely small scale. The parts laid out and displayed in a kit, like treasures in a cornucopia, but they can also be assembled and point to a real thing. The weirdness of the scale changes the way we comprehend the architecture. Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, which nests several display rooms in a muted volume, is a huge model kit containing several sub-kits inside. It’s a museum but a collection of things. In the Soane’s Museum deluxe model kit, the types were pulled out to become parts and be reassembled on the LACMA site in a different way, yet retain the sense that they could be taken apart at any time.

Image Credit: Sir John Soane's Museum Collection Online

Images Credit: Sir John Soane's Museum Collection Online

Video Credit: Explore the Soane's Museum

Parts are stacked, scaled, rotated, nested inside one another, and assembled into a super-figure facing Wilshire Boulevard. The open figure becomes a part of the new Los Angeles’ urban view, replacing the strict division of the existing museum schemes. The huge staircase with resonance figures can be accessed from the street level, connecting Wilshire Boulevard to the urban-scaled balconies and civic art plaza. The project, itself a gigantic cabinet, contains the art of our time in inventive ways, and opens up to the city.