WEISS/MANFREDI chosen to master plan La Brea Tar Pits

Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) have selected architecture firm WEISS/MANFREDI to lead a master planning team in reimagining the La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum in Hancock Park.

La Brea Tar Pits’ 13-acre campus is the world’s only active paleontological research site in a major urban area, and includes the George C Page Museum.

NHMLAC and the master planning team will work together during a process of public engagement, master planning, design and construction at the Tar Pits.

“Our ‘Loops and Lenses’ concept creates new connections between the museum and the park, between science and culture, and envisions the entire site as an unfolding place of discovery,” said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, principals at WEISS/MANFREDI.

Master planning, design and construction at the Tar Pits

la brea tar pits

WEISS/MANFREDI’s team includes Karin Fong (Imaginary Forces), Robert Perry (Perry and Associates Collaborative), Carole Gee, Mark Dion, and Michael Bierut (Pentagram).

“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 NHMLAC president and director Dr Lori Bettison-Varga.

NHMLAC chose WEISS/MANFREDI’s team through an international search process. The two other finalists were Dorte Mandrup and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

‘A more integrated experience of museum and landscape’

la brea tar pits

All three proposals envisioned a more integrated experience of the museum and the landscape, also preserving the site and increasing access.

As well as the Tar Pits and George C Page Museum, the campus includes several active digs, a concession building, simulated Pleistocene landscapes, contemporary gardens, and an Observation Pit from the 1950s that was refurbished in 2014.

Images: WEISS/MANFREDI / La Brea Tar Pits