Yet regular people who go to museums want to see what's inside. That's the whole point. And the less there is, the more one can quote Gertrude Stein and say, "There is no 'there' there." Which is what's likely to happen at LACMA if the current plans are followed. Put simply, that's a very bad idea.
The Marquis Façade
For years now, every city has wanted to have its own Gehry. How unfortunate. His buildings don't exist to be functional, just unmistakably his. It's the ego of an architect who thinks that he's a sculptor (which proves that delusion can sometimes find patrons among the wealthy who have much, much more money than judgment or taste). The LACMA blob is director Michael Govan's attempt to declare he's independent: he doesn't want another awkward, jaggy Gehry monsterpiece; he wants his own amoeba that will cover Wilshire Boulevard (if that's still in the plans) like an oozing infection.
It's what's inside that counts
Angelenos shouldn't stand for it. And the Board of Supervisors should be forced to take Art History or Art Appreciation or simply Economics 101 to realize how much is being squandered: the money to construct the formless fortress of squalitude and the loss of so much space to show the treasures in the LACMA collection (which is already a mere fraction of its overall holdings).
The Getty might be somewhat monolithic, but it's private. The richest museum on earth can do whatever it wants with its assets. But it keeps things moving constantly to make the most of gallery wall space. That won't be the case with the Zumthor thing.
Exhibits would have to change daily, and visitors would have to bring cots to sleep inside the museum for a month to see a fraction of what LACMA possesses. (And somebody can claim that all those people are an art installation.)
So leave the damn museum alone, and spend all those millions on doing what museums always claim that they can't afford to do: buy more art.