Providing a Place to Learn about Epic Stories and Pass Them on to Future Generations

The Museum of Uncertainty, an innovative conceptual project by Xuechen Chen of X.C Studio, is situated in the historic La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles. This unique museum explores the profound mystery and historical significance hidden beneath the tar, emphasizing themes of excavation, discovery, and preservation.


Main Entry
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen


Looking towards Plaza
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen

The project comprises three distinct structures, each offering a multifaceted experience for visitors. Starting at Wilshire Boulevard, guests embark on an immersive journey simulating submersion beneath the tar, ultimately arriving at the museum's central gathering area. Inside, they encounter a fascinating exhibition featuring fossils displayed both from storage and along the hallways. The research building is interconnected with various excavation sites, creating a labyrinthine pathway where visitors can witness the excavation process up close on the ground level. Additionally, the institution building hosts lectures and provides educational opportunities, while offering views of the expansive excavation sites.


Display Lobby
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen


Display Hallyway
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen

The thrill of discovery is central to this project, driven by the inherent uncertainty of the excavation process. The goal is to decipher and unveil the narratives hidden within the tar, allowing for reinterpretation and sharing of these captivating stories with future generations. The excitement of uncovering the Tar Pit's history is embodied in lab research, which gradually reveals the stories behind each bone, shedding light on the ancient character of the Tar Pits.


Display room and Labs
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen


Excavation Yard
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen


Main Garden
Photo credit: Xuechen Chen

The Museum of Uncertainty invites visitors on a journey of exploration and enlightenment, engaging them with the magnificent stories of the La Brea Tar Pits' past. This project promises to preserve and retell these stories, ensuring that they continue to inspire and educate for generations to come.

X.C Studio

X.C Studio, founded by Xuechen Chen, is a dynamic architectural and design firm based in New York City. Specializing in innovative approaches to architecture, product design, and visual art, X.C Studio draws inspiration from the intricate dynamics and subtle experiences of urban environments. With a profound commitment to innovation, X.C Studio aims to redefine artistic purpose and enhance how people perceive, interact with, and enrich their environments.