The La Brea Tar Pits’ Possible Futures Are Mammoth

An old, old, old place is soon to get a refresh; see three takes on what might be headed for the famed Ice Age fossil site.

13 photos
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The new 1-kilometer pedestrian path connects the rich but disparate elements of the site, brings drama to the crossing of the Lake Pit, enhances amenities for community engagement and research, and reveals the museum collection. WEISS/MANFREDI (New York) Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
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WEISS/MANFREDI (New York)
Panoramic labs flank the exhibition pit, encouraging dialogue between the past and present. Here, the collection and active research are brought into sharp focus. WEISS/MANFREDI (New York) Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
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WEISS/MANFREDI (New York)
Within the Research and Revelation loop, renewed pit sites allow people to witness active excavation taking place under shaded canopies. Playgrounds throughout provide spaces for children to learn about the site's geology through play and tactile experience. WEISS/MANFREDI (New York) Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
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WEISS/MANFREDI (New York)
The existing terrace on the museum's roof is doubled to become a new multi-purpose plateau for public events. Here, the iconic fiberglass frieze finds its crystalline counterpart in the expansion which reveals La Brea's artifacts through a glass facade. WEISS/MANFREDI (New York) Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
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Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
A visit here should be a journey of curiosity where the senses and imagination are awakened, with exploratory wayfinding, active research sites, a megafauna playground, and prehistoric plants and trees. Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
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Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
Surrounded by Pleistocene fauna, a series of boardwalks connects all activities in the park and lead people curiously up towards the new, open foyer in the Page Museum. Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
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Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
In the open foyer, visitors passing through get glimpses of activities in the building -- below, and above, the collection of spectacular creatures are presented in excavations, laboratories, and exhibit spaces. Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
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Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
Visitors are invited into the world of science, as research activities are an integrated part of the new, daylit exhibition spaces. A new public roof garden and the Tar Bar concludes the journey. Dorte Mandrup (Copenhagen)
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
A new arrival plaza at the corner of Wilshire & Curson welcomes visitors to the Tar Pits and extends into a ramped museum forecourt, descending 12 feet and 20,000 years in the past. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
Public engagement with science occurs throughout the masterplan, including a new glass edge of the Tar Pit Lake, revealing the iconic site feature to be a former asphalt mine since filled by rain water. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
A publicly accessible dig site is supported by a new Mobile "Dig Rig," designed to anticipate current and future digs anywhere in the park. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
The reimagined Page Museum lobby is anchored by a hovering "Archive Block," a glass-enclosed repository for the museum's collection and surrounded by public circulation and an ascending circuit of exhibition galleries. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York)
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