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Peter Zumthor

Petersen Automotive Museum's new look conveys a happily tasteless exterior

Petersen Automotive Museum's new look conveys a happily tasteless exterior

It would be extreme — irresponsible, really — to suggest that staring too long at the new façade of the Petersen Automotive Museum, set to reopen Monday after a $90-million makeover, might leave you cross-eyed, cause your hair to spontaneously catch fire or turn you, Old Testament style, into a pillar of salt.

Still, the museum's raucous, happily tasteless new exterior, designed by Gene Kohn and Trent Tesch of Kohn Pedersen Fox, a prolific New York firm known for more reserved work, is not the sort of thing you want to just come upon, sending your unprotected corneas right into the fray.

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