written by:
February 21, 2015
The $140 million museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an impressive feat of concrete, glass, and steel.
The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Preview

On Sunday, February 15, The Broad (pronounced: brode) museum’s top-floor, column-free gallery space welcomed Los Angeles artists, civic figures, and art enthusiasts for a one-day preview. Still absent from the space were its partition walls, which will display the personal collections of contemporary art of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad when the museum opens in September 2015. For the day-into-night preview, The Broad presented Sky-lit: Volume, Light, and Sound, featuring the works of artists BJ Nilsen and Yann Novak. The artistic vision of the museum’s architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, also struck a chord with visitors. 

Photo by 
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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Glass Elevator

A cylindrical, glass elevator stretches from the public lobby through the center of the building, past the second-floor holdings, and opens at the main gallery on the third floor. The sculpted, concrete façade and steel handrails of the staircase, which spirals around the elevator, add an industrial texture to the museum’s design. Both the central stairwell and elevator will offer visitors a glimpse at some of the pieces in the private collection stored on the second floor.

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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Lobby

The 105-foot escalator begins at the lobby level and disappears into a concrete cave, delivering passengers to the third-floor gallery. The first floor also houses a museum shop, a small gallery, and a multimedia space. Just outside of the west entrance at Grand Avenue will be a park-like 24,000-square-foot plaza with a restaurant, a grove of century-old olive trees, and an area to hold outdoor events, such as film screenings and receptions.

Courtesy of 
Hufton + Crow
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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Third Floor Gallery Space

The gallery features 35,000 square feet of stark white opulence. A woven, honeycomb-like design that covers the ceiling of the third-level gallery and the exterior wall, stretching a block’s length on Grand Avenue, is what Diller Scofidio + Renfro refers to as the museum’s veil. Made of 2,500 fiberglass-reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel, the veil diffuses indirect, natural light through 318 glazed skylights before it can enter into the entire top-floor space. The designers have dubbed The Broad's structure “the veil and the vault,” as it will serve two distinct purposes: public exhibition space and private collection storage. 

Courtesy of 
Hufton + Crow
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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Architect Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Elizabeth Diller is the principal in charge of The Broad museum’s design, along with partners Richard Scofidio and Charles Renfro. Diller and team are far from new to designing for the art world; they have also been working with New York’s Museum of Modern Art on its expansion. 

Courtesy of 
Ryan Miller, Capture Imaging
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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Grand Avenue Exterior

The museum’s “oculus,” the circular opening on the exterior veil, is a visual focal point at the heart of The Broad, where the collection storage vault resides. The vault is impressively protected by 36 million pounds of concrete. Beneath the 120,000-square-foot structure is a three-story parking garage, which will offer electric car charging stations and bike parking spaces. In addition to consideration of best green construction practices, the designers have also built the veil and vault with the potential threat of major earthquakes in mind.

Courtesy of 
Iwan Baan
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The Broad Museum Downtown Los Angeles Preview

On Sunday, February 15, The Broad (pronounced: brode) museum’s top-floor, column-free gallery space welcomed Los Angeles artists, civic figures, and art enthusiasts for a one-day preview. Still absent from the space were its partition walls, which will display the personal collections of contemporary art of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad when the museum opens in September 2015. For the day-into-night preview, The Broad presented Sky-lit: Volume, Light, and Sound, featuring the works of artists BJ Nilsen and Yann Novak. The artistic vision of the museum’s architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, also struck a chord with visitors. 

Photo by Brandi Andres.

Stepping onto The Broad museum’s spacious gallery floor from a gigantic, unfinished art elevator that’s still covered in plywood is quite an experience. There’s something very “2001: A Space Odyssey” about it. Thousands of curious visitors were given such an opportunity on February 20, during a one-day preview of Los Angeles’ forthcoming contemporary art museum. Founders, and philanthropists, Eli and Edythe Broad have given $140 million to build the new home for their collection of nearly 2,000 pieces of art, which includes works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum resides on a stretch of Bunker Hill, downtown, next to some prestigious neighbors, including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Broad is scheduled to open September 20, 2015, and admission will be free.

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