Architecture Firm Selected to Redesign La Brea Tar Pits


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County announced today that the New York-based architectural firm Weiss/Manfredi was selected to redesign the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

Marion Weiss, Michael Manfredi and their team will work with NHMLAC on a multi-year process of public engagement, master planning, design and construction at the 13-acre campus. The project will encompass the world's only active paleontological research site in a major urban area, the museum's asphalt seeps, surrounding parkland and the George C. Page Museum building.

``We are excited to move forward with Marion, Michael and their remarkable team, as we work toward a more integrated experience of the museum and the landscape in Hancock Park, while increasing community access, preserving the site's iconic features and developing a more sustainable infrastructure for the next 50 years,'' said Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the NHMLAC.

The plan calls for preserving most of the park's current architecture while adding a new wing to the northwest portion of the property, where a parking lot currently sits.

According to the Weiss/Manfredi, the idea is to create one continuous experience throughout the park and the NHMCLAC, enhance spaces for community and scientific research and ``reveal the La Brea collection to visitors, bringing the museum to the park and the park into the public imagination.''

The mammoth would remain in its current location and be a featured attraction in the plan.

Weiss/Manfredi and two other finalists -- Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup and New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro -- pitched ideas to the museum in August. Public feedback was solicited on the three plans by NHMLAC, which received more than 2,100 survey responses from Angelenos.


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