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The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

Outstanding and Artistically Architectural

The Broad Museum in Downtown, Los Angeles has to be one among the outstanding museums by its artistically architectural feature. The founder of the museum is an American Philanthropist and entrepreneur Eli and Edythe Broad. It is designed by Diller Scofidio+ Renfro studio, the firm runs by three adroit partners; Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro. The firm is noticeably popular in New York and was selected to design The Board museum.

In 2010, there was a flair competition in selection of the design for this remarkable museum. Worldwide architects took part in the contests that included Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, Swiss architects Herzog & Meuron, Paris architects Christian de Portzamparc, Japan architects Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA and from New York Scofidio+Renfro. Fortunate Scofidio+Renfro was eventually chosen to take up the project; 1, 20,000 square foot museum encompass exhibition space, office and a parking garage. The building cost was estimated at $ 140 million. The land is adjacent to Frank Gehry's iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Board

Eli and Edythe Broad created The Broad Art Foundation in 1984 as a pioneering lending library of contemporary artworks. Dedicated to increasing access to contemporary art for audiences worldwide, the foundation has made more than 8,000 loans to over 500 museums and galleries around the world. Featuring works by some 200 artists ranging from Jasper Johns and Joseph Beuys to Kara Walker and Christopher Wool, with exceptionally deep representations of many significant artists, the collection is already widely known through the work of The Broad Art Foundation.

In 2010, to make these works more accessible to the public on a permanent basis and build a significant new cultural resource for Los Angeles, the Broads commissioned one of today's most celebrated and innovative architectural firms, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to design The Broad Museum created for the collection and its associated exhibitions and programs.

Veil and Vault

The building is dubbed with 'the veil and the vault' design, the museum's artistic style merges the two key components of the building; public exhibition space and archive. Its carved underside shapes the lobby below, while its top surface is the floor plate of the exhibition space. The vault is enveloped on all sides by the 'veil', an airy honeycomb-like structure that spans across the block-long gallery and provides filtered natural daylight.

Upon entering the lobby, visitors will travel up to a 105-foot escalator through the concrete vault and emerge into the third-floor gallery, which features 23-foot ceilings and 318 skylights that filter diffused sunlight. Upon exiting the third floor, most visitors will again descend through the vault via a central stairwell, which offers glimpses of the artwork in the archive that may be displayed in future exhibitions.

 The Broad features public galleries on the first and third floors with a central 'vault' that will house art storage and staff offices appears to hover between the ground and top floors. The third-floor gallery features 23-foot ceilings and 318 skylights that filter diffused sunlight.

Wrapped around the Grand Avenue elevation of the building like a 'veil' is a porous exoskeleton made of concrete panels and steel. The veil filters natural daylight into the building's interior and establishes lines of sight between the museum and the street. The veil lifts at the south and north corners of the building to define two street level entrances.

Exoskeleton Museum

Planned as a precast concrete skin wrapping around the museum and helping hold up its roof, the veil will instead be made of lighter fiberglass panels supported by giant steel beams sunk beneath the Grand Avenue sidewalk. DS+R and Hood include plans for 100 year old olive trees flown in from Northern California and planted along a wide lawn. It puts a calm, even bucolic face on what turns out to be a remarkably complex slice of the urban realm.

The platform is built like a small chunk of freeway overpass. The plaza with other streetscape improvements has a price tag of $18 million. About $10 million came from redevelopment funds and $8 million from the museum. The restaurant to be built on the Hope Street end of the plaza will draw pedestrians from Grand and help activate the space. Twin staircases will flank and lead down to Hope Street.

Gensler served as executive architect for the museum building project. Integral to the project is an adjacent 24,000 square foot outdoor public plaza, also designed by DS+R, which stretches from Hope Street to Grand Avenue.

Green Land for Pedestrian

A grove of 100 year old Barouni olive trees and a large lawn as well as enhanced landscaping and improvements along Grand Avenue, the plaza adds a much needed parcel of green space to the downtown cultural corridor and makes the area more pedestrian-friendly. The Programs affiliated by Eli and Edythe Broad's longstanding support of the arts and their commitment to make contemporary art available to all; The Broad will host an ambitious series of public programs and planned to introduce Sky-lit. The Broad has held a number of pre-opening events, including a series of art talks started in 2013 titled The Un-Private Collection, featured artists whose works are represented in the collection in conversation with recognized cultural leaders.

Light and Sound Effect

Two light and sound works will interact with key features in Diller Scofidio + Renfro's (DS+R) innovative architecture. Sky-lit; a combination of volume, light and sound at The Broad will highlight the relationship between the museum's architecture and its urban environment.

DTLA, is an audio installation by Swedish composer and sound artist BJ Nilsen, who records sounds in more than a dozen locations to create what's described as 'an abstract audio landscape of downtown Los Angeles'.

After dark, 'Stillness', a work in sound and light by Los Angeles artist Yann Novak, aim to immerse museum-goers in an 'environment for reflection' about 'the effect of climate and light on their physical and emotional states'.

“Nilsen's and Novak's artworks engage the energy of downtown Los Angeles; using light and sound to bring aspects of the outside environment into the museum. It was a very excited event to a preview of the interplay of light from the skylights, as well as the tremendous flexibility offered by the unusual vastness of our third-floor gallery, which spans nearly an acre.

About BJ Nilsen A Swedish composer and sound artist based in Berlin and London. BJ Nilsen focuses primarily on the sounds of nature and cities and their effects on people. In 2014, he co-edited the book and CD publication The Acoustic City with Matthew Gandy.

Eli and Edythe Broad, Philanthropists

The Broad is being built and funded by longtime art collectors and philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, who have spent five decades assembling two of the world's most admired collections of postwar and contemporary art with the aim of creating a widely accessible public collection. The most special personal collection and The Broad Art Foundation's collection works will be showcased at Los Angeles's Grand Avenue Arts corridor.

The couple, Eli and Edythe Broad has spent more than five decades assembling one third floor gallery of The Broad with skylights; photo by Nathaniel Riley. The world's most admired collections to create a wide accessible for common artists. The recent noticed acquisitions to the still-growing collection is the multimedia, the Los Angeles based artist Jordan Wolfson; a life-size animatronic sculpture that interacts with viewers as it 'dances' to pop music and talks, constructing a persona and changing its gestures in response to the movements of the viewers around it in a specially built white room.

“Our goal has been to honor the responsibilities of the museum as a collecting institution by making the curatorial functions visible front and center, rather than hiding them away as in most museums,' said Ar. Elizabeth Diller, co-founder and principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

“The museum is a gift from Eli and Edye Broad to the city of Los Angeles and the broader arts community around the world. With an architecturally stunning building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will also accommodate with an initial installation of around 200 of the most iconic works in all media and begin a robust and populist series of public programs. Our goal, combining art, architecture and public engagement is to make downtown Los Angeles more vibrant, exciting and pedestrian-friendly than ever before', said Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad.

About Diller Scofidio + Renfro

About Diller Scofidio + Renfro firm established in New York city in 1979. Diller Scofidio + Renfro is one of the world's leading architectural firms. Among its notable and acclaimed works are the renovation and expansion of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City; the Institute of Contemporary Art on Boston Harbor; the innovative High Line park in lower Manhattan; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; the Brown University Creative Arts Center in Providence and the Museum of Image & Sound in Rio de Janeiro.

Broad Collection of the Broad Museum

Eli Broad often describes his collecting in terms of numbers. Here are some key figures that reveal the breadth and depth of the Broad collection. It includes works in his art foundation as well as pieces that the Broads still live with which will ultimately go to the foundation.

  • Total works in the Broad Art Foundation: 1,480
  • Total works in personal possession of Eli and Edythe Broad: 470
  • Loans of art made since 1984, when the foundation began: 8,359
  • Loans made in the past two years: 328
  • Works bought in the past two years: 90
  • Multiples by Joseph Beuys in collection: 572
  • Photographs by Cindy Sherman: 124
  • Sculptures by Jeff Koons: 24
  • Paintings by Mark Bradford: 8
  • Artists in the collection: 200
  • Women artists in the collection: 35


Architect and Site Selection: August 2010

Design Unveiling: January 2011

Groundbreaking: March 2012

Topping Out January: 2013

Plaza Groundbreaking Fall: 2012

Construction Completion Spring: 2015

Public Opening September: 20, 2015

Project: The Board Museum, Los Angeles

Leadership: Eli & Edythe Broad Founders and Joanne Heyler, Founding Director

Design Architect: Diller Scofidio+Renfro, New York

Cost: $ 140

Materials: Concrete, steel, fiberglass reinforced concrete, and fiberglass, reinforced gypsum

The Vault

  • 36 million pounds of concrete make up the three-level "vault"
  • 50,000-square-feet of gallery space including 35,000-square-feet of column-free space
  • 21,000-square-feet of collection storage space
  • The second floor concrete slab cantilevers 45-feet over the lobby.

The Veil

  • The veil is made primarily of 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels and 650 tons of steel.
  • The veil is supported at three points: the connections on 2 and Street and GTK Way, and the major 32-ton, 57-foot-long touchdown beam on Grand Avenue which sits 5-feet below the sidewalk and can manage loads of up to 3,000 tons.
  • The Grand Avenue touchdown beam can rock about a central pivot point allowing the entire veil structure to slightly “see-saw' back and forth along its plane during a major earthquake. Each end of the beam is allowed to move up and down by ¾ of an inch.
  • The roof includes five 190-foot steel girders weighing approximately 70 tons each.
  • The roof has a 40-foot cantilever over the third floor gallery.
  • The roof includes 318 skylight monitors with glazed openings to harvest diffused sunlight coming from the north.
  • 30 percent of the total veil molds are used solely to form the "oculus" portion of the veil to create its intensely curved shape which indents the veil into the building and the vault.
  • Veil countries of manufacture: Germany, Czech Republic, USA


  • The lobby includes 37 glass panels that are 20-feet by 5-feet, 6-inches; weighing 2,198 pounds each.
  • The lecture hall includes seven glass panels that are 16-feet, 5-inches by 5-feet, weighing 2,044 pounds each.
  • The galleries include 52 glass panels that are 24-feet and 10 ½ inches by 4-feet, 11 inches, weighing 4,881 pounds each.
  • Glass countries of manufacture: Germany, Austria, USA, Mexico (elevator hoistway glass) Parking Garage 155,000-square-foot, three-story subterranean parking garage and 366 parking spaces.






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