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Renzo Piano slips in one more building at LACMA

March 3, 2011 |  1:05 pm

It turns out the Resnick Pavilion was not Renzo Piano's final contribution to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus. That distinction instead falls to a sleek restaurant and bar complex set to open Thursday.

Ray's restaurant and Stark Bar, both named for the late film producer and LACMA trustee Ray Stark, sit side-by- side, occupying a low-slung glass-and-steel pavilion and opening onto a wide concrete plaza across from the Resnick, which opened last year. The pavilion is partially covered by, and indeed is meant to appear to slide beneath, the large canopy that Piano designed to rise over the museum's new ticket booths and entry area.

Like the rest of the Piano's work for LACMA, the new restaurant and bar is precise and relatively quiet, formally speaking, with occasional splashes of color -- in this case steel I-beams painted a shade museum officials now refer to as "Renzo red." Tables spill out onto the plaza in front of both the restaurant and bar, promising to enliven what had been a relatively empty expanse of concrete.

-- Christopher Hawthorne

Photo: The new Ray's restaurant and Stark Bar at LACMA, foreground, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Credit: Dustin Downing