When the Getty Center first opened its doors in 1997, the number of people queueing up at the tram level was overwhelming, and the bookstore at the top of the hill was severely undersized.
This unbuilt project at the Getty Center North Entry proposes a two-story addition of auxiliary visitor and staff facilities.
Adjacent to the area designated for pedestrian traffic, the project locates a monumental stair and elevator, integrated with a 35-foot-high multimedia screen visible from the 405 freeway and to the long line of cars entering the parking lot.
The stair and elevator transport visitors above to the existing upper level concourse at its north side.
Conceived as an addition to the large plinth on which the existing concourse sits, the building’s west façade of white concrete engages the elevator and stair as a solid guardrail arching over the parking entrance at its northwest corner.
Transforming itself into the two-story building as it continues southward, the building’s program includes storage and spaces for facilities personnel at the lower level. At the upper/concourse level, the project provides an expanded bookstore/gift shop and cafe for museumgoers to visit both before getting on the tram and on the way home.
The continuation of the originally specified travertine paving within the bookstore integrates the building with its surrounding hardscape.
Providing a focal point for the tramway deck and canopy across the concourse, the building’s 16-foot-high glass entry and storefront encourage pedestrian traffic and animate a newly created plaza between the two structures – with a distant view to the Getty Center in the mountains to the south.