First look: Diller Scofidio + Renfro's The Broad museum in Los Angeles

LA's newest art museum combines gallery space and collection storage based around two design concepts: the veil and the vault.

September 17, 2015 |
First look: Diller Scofidio + Renfro's The Broad museum in Los Angeles

The Broad's lobby, with interior veil and entrance into the vault. Images courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro and The Broad

The Broad, L.A.’s newest contemporary art museum, will open this Sunday, Sept. 20.

The 120,000-sf, three-story museum cost $140 million and was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. Founded by philanthropers and art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum houses nearly 2,000 pieces of contemporary art from artists that include Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. It also provides 15,000 sf of exhibition space on the ground floor and 35,000 sf of naturally-lit, column-free space on the third floor.

The museum's design concept is called "the veil and the vault." It combines gallery space and collection storage.

The vault, which stores the heart of the collection, is located in the center of the building. It is in full view, hovering midway in the building, and its carved underside shapes the lobby below and the public circulation routes.

A 105-foot escalator tunnels through the vault to the third-floor gallery. Visitors also descend through the vault via a winding stair, where they can see the art collection through windows into storage areas. Meanwhile, the veil is a honeycomb-like structure that spans the block-long building and provides natural daylight. The veil lifts at the front entry corners of the building, through which visitors enter into a lobby and gift shop.

Along with The Broad museum, construction was completed on Grand Avenue, the street where the museum is situated. A 24,000-sf public plaza, landscaped with a grove of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees and a tilted lawn, was built, as were a new crosswalk and planted median that connect The Broad on the west side of Grand Avenue with MOCA and the Colburn School. 

A pair of wide stairs and an elevator connecting the plaza with the planned Hope Street Metro Regional Connector Rail station at 2nd Street was built on the west side of the street.

At the western end of the plaza will be Otium, a restaurant that will open in fall 2015.

The Broad includes a 155,000-sf, three-story subterranean parking garage with spaces for 344 vehicles, including spaces for electric cars and bicycles.


The Broad's third floor gallery with skylights and interior veil


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