Over the last 50,000 years, the earth below the La Brea Tar Pits has been adapting to fit the environment around it, and now so too will the museum.
On Tuesday, museum officials welcomed members of the public to catch a sneak peek of a master plan for an overhaul of the museum campus.
Designed by the New York-based architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, the renovations will include the creation of a new building and terrace walkway, nearly doubling the museum’s current size by adding 41,000 square feet of space.
The 13-acre campus will be connected by a 1-kilometer double-helix loop designed to create a dynamic visitor experience that will enhance visibility of the museum’s collections and scientific activities throughout the property.
“We want the Tar Pits to be a place of discovery and inspiration for people of all ages,” said Dr. Luis Chiappe, senior vice president of research and collections, and architecture. “… But our ambitions are limited by the physical realties of this building. There is so much potential for our collections to provide new and exciting scientific information, but we simply don’t have the space to curate fossils or properly study them in a comprehensive way.”