The iconic Petersen Automotive Museum is about to get a very expensive present for its 20th birthday: a total renovation.
The Miracle Mile museum is about to undergo a dramatic silver and red redesign that's been called a "fiery red zebra." The new exterior will be competing for eyeballs on Museum Row with the $650 million renovation of LACMA.
"The exciting exterior is something that a fellow named Gene Kohn, of Kohn Pedersen Fox, designed. They're one of the top three architectural firms in the world," said Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. "Cohn said that while its other museum neighbors are the gentlemen in black tie, this is the ballerina."
Kohn designed the building, which is essentially a wrap around the existing museum, to create the illusion of motion and speed. Its aerodynamic curves mimic those seen in modern-day sports cars. Made of matte stainless steel, it consists of a series of curved beams backlit by hot rod red lights.
"Constantly as you see the building from different points of view, it's going to read somewhat different," said Kohn. "During the day the play of sunlight on the building will be quite marvelous. Stainless steel is a matte finish, not a highly polished one, so there won't be much glare. Certainly the building will be sparkling."
Will the dramatic new exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates draw attention away from the new LACMA? Is the design too overpowering for the location? If you've visited the Petersen in the past, will the new design bring you back for a second look?
Terry Karges, Executive Director, Petersen Automotive Museum
A. Eugene Kohn, Chairman, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) - lead architectural firm for the Petersen Automotive Museum; KPF designed the expansion and renovation New York’s Museum of Modern Art