Seven local architects under consideration for design of Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley sites
September 27, 2000
Los Angeles--The board of trustees of the Children's Museum of Los Angeles announced today the selection of a short list of seven architects to be considered for the design of the Museum's new facilities--one in downtown Los Angeles, the other in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The list was selected from nearly 60 applicants responding to a request for qualifications (RFQ) issued in July 2000. The RFQ process, review, and selection of the short list of architects was guided by Architecture LA, a new organization made up of leaders of arts institutions concerned with architecture and urban design in Los Angeles.
The following firms, in alphabetical order, have been selected for further consideration:
Chu + Gooding Architects
Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates
Jones, Partners: Architecture
Eric Owen Moss Architects
Randall Stout Architects
Douglas R. Ring, chairman of the board of trustees of the Children's Museum of Los Angeles, comments, "We were gratified and thrilled by the number of architectural firms expressing interest and by the caliber of submissions. Children's museums are always at the cutting edge of museums in America. This group is among the best and brightest Los Angeles has to offer, including many young architects who are the products of local colleges and universities. Our two very different sites offer extraordinary creative opportunities for the one or two architects ultimately selected. We are grateful for the help of Architecture LA in launching and coordinating this process."
For the past 21 years the Children's Museum has been housed in a 17,000-square-foot facility in downtown Los Angeles, which has become inadequate for serving the 250,000 children who visit it each year. With no room for expansion, the Museum began planning several years ago to build a new, world-class facility. In May 2000, the City of Los Angeles awarded the Museum 50-year leases on two sites on which it will build two campuses for the new Children's Museum of Los Angeles. The downtown campus is next to the Geffen Contemporary Museum and the Japanese American National Museum in an area called Art Park. The Valley campus is located in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Given the scope of this project, the museum closed its facility at 310 North Main Street on August 27, 2000 to focus its resources on developing expanded mobile community outreach programs, and to work on the design and construction of the two new campuses. The budget for the design and construction of each of the campuses excluding exhibition design, is between $12 and $16 million.
The Children's Museum plans to construct an "urban museum" at the Art Park site. The exact size of this museum has yet to be determined, but is expected to be in excess of 60,000 square feet. The Museum will focus on the urban experience, as well as on the performing arts, graphic arts, film, and television. The Art Park site will include the administrative staff for both campuses.
A major focus of the Hansen Dam site will be the natural environment. The 60,000-square-foot building will have an indoor-outdoor feeling and visitors will be able to move easily between the environments. The building itself will serve as an exhibit of sustainable architecture, encouraging visitors to understand new ways to construct and maintain buildings. The site will also take advantage of the surrounding landscape by including a garden of flora and fauna native to the northeast Valley environment.
Based on further interviews with the candidates on the short list, Architecture LA will recommend two architects for each campus to the Children's Museum's 24-member board of trustees. The board will make the final selection from these recommendations of one architect for each site, or one architect for both sites, during the fall of 2000. The design phase of the project will begin shortly thereafter.
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The Children's Museum of Los Angeles, a leader in the field since 1979, provides the families and schools of five Southern California counties with a unique blend of hands-on exhibits and programs that enable children to learn by experiencing the world around them. The museum is a play-centered arts environment that encourages children to think creatively, make choices, and explore possibilities.
Architecture LA is an alliance of professionals affiliated with local arts and educational institutions working voluntarily to encourage excellence in Los Angeles civic and cultural architecture. For press inquiries about Architecture LA, please contact Jean Miao, associate communications specialist at the J. Paul Getty Trust, at 310-440-6617.
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