La Brea Tar Pits selects exhibition designer Kossmanndejong for renovations

Kossmanndejong has been chosen by the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) to lead the exhibition design for the reimagined and renovated La Brea Tar Pits.

The Amsterdam-based firm will work alongside the architectural and landscape design team led by Weiss/Manfredi and Gruen Associates, who NHMLAC has named as the executive architect for the project.

“We have been building toward a reimagined La Brea Tar Pits for several years now, as we plan for a visitor experience equal to the promise of sharing discoveries from a research site unique in the world,” said Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of NHMLAC.

“Our goal is to highlight the vital relevance of the Tar Pits to our own era of climate change, provide facilities that better support ongoing scientific work, preserve this beloved Los Angeles icon, and create a gracious community gathering place with an accessible outdoor green space.”

Kossmanndejong to create exhibits

Kossmanndejong will collaborate with Weiss/Manfredi as well as the scientists, curators and exhibitions teams at La Brea Tar Pits to create engaging exhibition spaces and new visitor experiences.

“The Tar Pits is such a fascinating place for so many reasons, including being the only urban spot in the world where Ice Age fossils have been found and are still excavated,” added Niels de Jong, creative director and partner at Kossmanndejong.

“We are thrilled to be part of a project where architecture, landscape, design, and programming are woven together into an integrated visitor experience.”

The transformation of the La Brea Tar Pits’ 13-acre campus started in 2019, when NHMLAC chose Weiss/Manfredi to improve the research facilities and collections space, expand the exhibits, and unite the various elements of the site.

rendering excavation site

“La Brea Tar Pits are like no other place in the world,” said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, co-founders of Weiss/Manfredi.

“We are excited to translate the very tactile magic of the Tar Pits, through architecture and landscape, into a place that captures the global imagination.”

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County include the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall.

The Natural History Museum’s $75 million renovation and expansion project, NHM Commons, is to open in 2024.

Images: NHMLAC

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La Brea Tar Pits selects exhibition designer Kossmanndejong for renovations