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DEC 1, 2010

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (The West Side New Construction)

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
by F. Ron Smith on December 1, 2010

Offering a culturally enriching and educational experience, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust opened to the public on October 14th, 2010.

Founded in 1961, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust has moved multiple times, but with this amazing new building and the fact that the museum has been built next the the existing Holocaust Memorial, it may have found at last found its perfect place.   Located on the North West corner of the Pan Pacific Park (off of The Grove Drive behind The Grove shopping center), the LAMOH is possibly one of the most innovative architectural designs that Los Angeles has seen this year.

The LAMOH was built by the Belzberg Architects who are a local Santa Monica based Architect group. Driving along the Pan Pacific Park, you might miss the museum as the museum was built to blend in and incorporate the natural beauty of the park.  There are many fascinating architectural features and strategies incorporated into the building’s conception and creation, including:

    * The top of the building is curved and the roof itself looks as though it is pulling up the corner of the park.
    * The design of the building received the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission Design Honor Award and The Los Angeles Business Council Green Building Design Award prior to completion.
    * The design layout was kept sensitive towards the institute’s history, and a large part of the museum is built underground to add to the emotional elements of the Holocaust. Although this creates a darkness about the building, the building allows for natural light to shine through.
    * Existing park pathways are used as connective elements to integrate the pedestrian flow of the park with the new circulation for museum visitors. The pathways are morphed onto the building and appropriated as surface patterning.

Designed and constructed with sustainable systems and materials, the LAMOTH building is on track to receive a LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council.

The architecture alone makes The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust worth going to, but of course, there are many other reasons to go as well. The museum strives hard to present the history of the Holocaust as objectively as possible, and through interactive exhibits, group tours, audio narration, virtual photo books and many original artifacts, the stories will speak for themselves.

Will you be visiting the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust?  Have you been to the new addition at the LACMA or visited another great gallery recently?  Please leave your comments below.