7 Seats Using Minimal Natural Materials
Minimal natural materials pack a punch.   1. River and ...
10 Questions With... Alex Michaelis
  From its humble beginnings in a converted loft, Alex ...
24 K&B Products Look to the Future
Straight or curved? Nella Vetrina asks that question with two ...
3 Trends in Biomimicry
Just imagine a future where self-healing concrete not only saves ...
Big-Game, Daniel Rybakken Win Debut Hublot Prize for Designers Under 40
Colour lamp by Daniel Rybakken, available through Ligne Roset.   ...




Weekly Poll
Designers: do you use Periscope and/or Meerkat?

    Calendar Upcoming Events
    Dec 01
    Miami , FL, United States

    Design Miami

    Dec 01
    Miami Beach, FL

    PULSE Miami Beach: Contemporary Art Fair

    Dec 02
    Toronto, Canada

    IIDA Leaders Breakfast Toronto 2015

    Dec 02
    New York, NY, United States

    Interior Design Hall of Fame Awards Gala

    Dec 03
    Miami Beach, FL

    NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Miami Beach

    Close Search by date

    or See All Upcoming Events


    LA’s Natural History Museum Celebrates Centennial

    Photo by Art Gray.The new entry pavilion by Co Architects at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Photo by Art Gray.

    The Los Angeles Natural History Museum is 100 years old. So, like any grande dame celebrating a centennial, it has had work done. Actually, a lot of it, totaling $135 million spread over the last decade. The museum’s renovation—let’s call it a re-imagining—is predicated on presenting a new indoor-outdoor experience.

    Let’s start with the entry procession. It is re-oriented outward to face the city and Exposition Boulevard with, yes, its Metro Expo stop. From a just-built parking structure that segues to a striking pedestrian bridge, visitors confront an ultra-modern, gleaming new entry, all the work of Co Architects. This jewel in the crown, formally named Otis Booth Pavilion, is a six-story transparent cube.

    “The big idea,” says Fabian Kremkus, associate principal, “was to put a fin whale inside a glass box.” The volume not only houses the 63-foot-long specimen suspended from steel cables, but multitasks as well. It centers the surrounding amphitheater, is a beacon to Los Angeles, and serves as venue for its own sound and light show with 33,600 LEDs and a sound system that replicates the whale’s low frequency. Down on the ground level, a new 6,000-square-foot Nature Lab connects directly with the outdoor gardens.

    Fabian Kremkus, Mia Lehrer and Don Webb at the Natural History Museum. Photo by Ryan Miller.

    Thanks to Mia Lehrer + Associates, the entire 3.5-acre site has been transformed into Nature Gardens. Among its varied environments are a water habitat stocked with turtles and lizards, edible and flowering gardens, and a dry creek bed. Some 153,000 square feet of former parking lots and concrete are now green.

    The building itself, a 1913 Beaux Arts structure, saw a comprehensive seismic retrofit. Improvements are all but invisible. The overall project does, however, show us new meaning to nature-nurture efforts.


    The new Car Park and Ticket Booth at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Photo by Tom Bonner.The new Car Park and Entrance Plaza at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Photo by Tom Bonner.