The transformed Petersen Museum creates a renewed image for the museum capturing the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile, and becomes a worthy neighbor for the buildings of Museum Row, on Los Angeles’ famed Miracle Mile.
Inspired by the form of a car, KPF’s design creates a new “body” around the existing “chassis” of the museum. The rooftop is converted into a party space that can be rented out. A corrugated aluminium rain screen outboard wraps the building, while “ribbons” of angel hair stainless steel and red painted aluminium flow around the building, manoeuvring the existing entry vestibule and other apertures. Sitting atop the existing structural system like the body of a car mounted to its frame, the steel “ribbons” evoke a sense of speed and movement and are brushed to avoid creation of glare. The design offers a contemporary interpretation of the mid-century, space age “Googie” architectural style that characterizes Los Angeles. The result is one of the most significant and unforgettable structures in Los Angeles.