The LACMA is a complex of different buildings. In the last 36 years the museum gradually expanded with new buildings or additions to existing buildings. The architects' mandate was to transform the many buildings into a cohesive design. Besides Rem Koolhaas, architect Jean Nouvel, Morphosis, Daniel Libeskind and Steven Holl were invited to make a design proposal. Koolhaas' proposal, to demolish everything except the parking structure, the plaza and the Japanese Pavilion was the most radical one. 'It was the most radical short-term solution, but in the long term it's the most conservative solution, because of its flexibility and adaptability' said Andrea L. Rich, president and director of the museum.
In Koolhaas' design the offices remain situated beneath the existing plaza. On top of the offices there will be a new, expanded plaza. From street level three grand staircases will lead to the plaza where, besides an temporary exhibition space will also be a cafe. On top of this plaza, on slender columns, are the exhibition spaces located.
The permanent collections of LACMA consists of items like modern and contemporary art, drawings, photo's, fashion, and ancient and Islamic art. The collections will be organised as a series of parallel bands. Besides a traditional route, alternate paths cut across the lanes, linking the various departments in such a way that it is possible to experience art in a different context.
The roof's height allows the museum to create additional floors. The roof will be made of a light construction with canvaslike material. It's not clear when the building process will start. The cost are estimated at 300 million dollars.
Besides the one in Los Angeles Koolhaas also won a design competition for a 800-seat theatre. The competition was organised by the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. An second theatre with 2400 seats will be designed by the London based Foster and Partners. The building process will start in 2004 and will be finished in 2007.