For weeks now, we've been anticipating the unveiling of the new Los Angeles Broad Art Foundation to be located right across the street from Frank Gehry's famed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Eli Broad's new museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will serve as both an archive as well as gallery space for the 2,000 some odd pieces that make up the Broad Collection. The exterior is characterized by a porous concrete screen, nicknamed the "Veil", which will help draw daylight in from all sides of the structure as well as the ceiling.
Eli Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveiled the renderings for the new museum yesterday inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The $130 million museum will play a central role in the re-urbanization of Grand Avenue, as well as providing a contrast to the shiny and large concert hall that sits across the street. The Broad Art Foundation will serve as a repository for the Broad’s vast collection of contemporary art work, as well as a lending center. Three stories tall, with parking underneath, the new 120,000 sq ft museum will include almost an acre of column free gallery space, in addition to a lecture hall, multimedia gallery, lobby, gift shop, espresso bar, plus archive and storage space.
Nicknamed “The Vault and The Veil,” the LA museum is characterized by its large archival space covered in a porous, veil-like exterior. The entire second floor serves as the archive vault, which unlike most museums, remains in view rather than being relegated to the basement. The arched and carved ceiling of the lobby serves as the floor for the vault, and the ceiling is the floor of the gallery space.
The third floor provides a large and column-free gallery space that makes use of daylighting through an airy exoskeleton as well as skylights. This large space is flexible in accordance to curatorial needs and has 24-foot high ceilings. The Veil is lifted at the corners of the building at street level, welcoming visitors inside the lobby and to the espresso bar. The spaces surrounding the museum will be landscaped and the public plaza will serve as a community park. Additionally, a new metro station will be located onsite making public transportation access to the museum very easy.
Although not incredibly impressive on the sustainable front, “The Broad” will certainly be an impressive piece of architecture. Construction of the three-story underground parking garage is expected to begin this spring, with completion of the entire museum slated for 2013. Some criticism is already swirling about the design, but there could still be time for amendments before construction commences. We earnestly hope a more energy efficient and sustainable scheme will emerge if any changes are to be made.
Images ©Diller Scofidio + Renfro