Los Angeles County Museum of Art

West Coast
Sports & Leisure
Landscape Architect
Paul Comstock
Photographer Credit
Lonna Tucker

Project Description: 

The palm garden at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum has transformed the Los Angeles landmark into a dynamic, light-filled campus and park.  As the newest addition to the museum’s gardens, the palm garden was designed collaboratively by ValleyCrest Design Group, world-renowned architect Renzo Piano and environmental artist, Robert Irwin.  This art installation with groupings of rare palms laid out in a grid of architectural planters has been hand-made to accommodate the spatial visions of world-famous architects, environmental artists, landscape architects and horticulturalists.  

Landscape Architecture:  

BrightView/ Comstock Studio brought the elements of the museum to a single gathering place where the contemporary architecture of the museum and the landscape architecture of the gardens interactively support each other.  The palms, centered by rare Chilean wine palms, together represent some of the earliest plant forms and one of the first plants humans consumed for nourishment and shelter.  The palm garden design was inspired from the cultural storyline that unites the archaeological and geological location of the museum and its proximity to the adjacent La Brea Tar Pits with its excavations tracing back to prehistoric periods.  

Landscape Development:  

BrightView contracted a scope of work that included the sourcing of rare species, grading, site furnishings, improvements, construction, irrigation, and large tree moving.  Due to the location of LACMA, BrightView found working in a compact urban space and sharing construction zones with adjacent properties a challenge.  The project required extensive moving and storing of mature trees by BrightView Tree Company/Specimen Division, boxing and moving of prehistoric dinosaur skeletons discovered during foundation excavations, and working within the existing footprint of a 50-year-old museum campus.


BrightView’s design-build team oversaw master plan elements while addressing key challenges presented by a large group of stakeholders including the museum’s donors.  Our ability to efficiently and safely develop and construct high quality work, from design and pre-construction to finish, stimulated innovation and enhanced value at the museum.  The result was a cohesive strategic plan for the entire 20-acre urban site, the flexibility to efficiently make changes as needed and ultimately the creation of The Palm Collection.

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