The Broad by Diller Scofidio + Renfro


The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro have unveiled their design for a new Los Angeles museum for The Broad Art Foundation.

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

Called The Broad, the three-storey museum will incorporate gallery space, a 200-seat lecture theatre multimedia gallery, public lobby and museum shop, plus archive, study and art storage space.

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

The building will be wrapped in a honeycomb facade that will be visible from the sky-lit top floor gallery.

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

See also: Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum by Zaha Hadid

All images are copyright Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The information that follows is from The Broad Art Foundation:

The Broad Art Foundation Unveils Museum Designs

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and architect Elizabeth Diller today unveiled the designs of The Broad Art Foundation, a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.

Designed by world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the three-story museum features a unique porous honeycomb “veil” that wraps the building and is visible through an expansive, top floor sky-lit gallery that will be home to great works of contemporary art drawn from the 2,000-piece Broad Collections.

The Broads also announced a 12-member board of governors and the inaugural programming for the contemporary art museum, to be called “The Broad.”

“Today, we celebrate another important milestone – the creation of a new museum 40 years in the making,” said Eli Broad, who was flanked by more than 200 city and county officials and community leaders as he revealed the designs for The Broad at a press conference at Walt Disney Concert Hall. “Grand Avenue is the cultural district for this great region of 15 million people. No other city in the world has such a concentration of visual and performing arts institutions and iconic architecture in a three-block radius. Edye and I can think of no better home for the public art collections we have assembled over the past 40 years.”

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

Located across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Broad will also serve as the headquarters for the foundation’s worldwide art lending library. In addition to paying for the building, the Broads are funding the museum with a $200 million endowment – larger than the combined endowments of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and MOCA. Joanne Heyler, the director/chief curator of The Broad Art Foundation, will also serve as director of the museum.

Featuring almost an acre of column-free gallery space, a lecture hall for up to 200 people, a ground floor multimedia gallery and a public lobby with display space and a museum shop, the 120,000-square-foot project will also include state-of-the-art archive, study and art storage space that will be available to scholars and curators who want to research works in the collection and borrow artworks for their institutions through The Broad Art Foundation.

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

Dubbed “the veil and the vault,” the museum’s design merges the two key components of the building: public exhibition space and the archive/storage that will support The Broad Art Foundation’s lending activities. Rather than relegate the archive/storage to secondary status, the “vault,” plays a key role in shaping the museum experience from entry to exit. Its heavy opaque mass is always in view, hovering midway in the building. Its carved underside shapes the lobby below, while its top surface is the floor of the exhibition space.

The vault is enveloped on all sides by the “veil,” an airy, cellular exoskeleton structure that spans across the block-long gallery and provides filtered natural daylight. The public entry to the museum will be on Grand Avenue and will complement the landscaped plaza to the south that is part of the Grand Avenue Project’s master plan. The museum’s “veil” lifts at the corners, welcoming visitors into an active lobby with a bookshop and espresso bar. Visitors will then journey upwards via an escalator, tunneling through the archive, arriving onto 40,000 square feet of column-free exhibition space bathed in diffuse light.

The Broad by Diller Scofidio and Renfro

This 24-foot-high space is fully flexible to be shaped into galleries, according to the curatorial needs of each installation or exhibition. Visitors exit the exhibition space and descend back to the lobby through a winding stair through the vault that offers behind-the-scenes glimpses, through viewing windows, into the vast holdings of the Broad Collections and the foundation’s lending library operations.

“Our goal for the museum is to hold its ground next to Gehry’s much larger and very exuberant Walt Disney Concert Hall through contrast,” Diller said. “As opposed to Disney Hall’s smooth and shiny exterior that reflects light, The Broad will be porous and absorptive, channeling light into its public spaces and galleries. The veil will play a role in the urbanization of Grand Avenue by activating two-way views that connect the museum and the street".

See also:


Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum by Zaha Hadid Museum of Image and Sound
by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Light Sock by Diller
Scofidio + Renfro


Posted on Friday January 7th 2011 at 5:47 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • James

    Poke it with a stick to make sure it's dead.

  • Too much.

  • JeanC

    Seattle Library revisited. Very brutalist, should be fun to see.

  • airborn

    Did they think of all the dust and pollution that will settle down in those caverns?
    The outer surface looks like a giant filter from a vacuum cleaner.

  • a context image and some plans and sections would help to understand the building much better. thx

  • Samantha

    Function follows form; welcome to twenty-first century architecture!

  • Miguel

    Very nice and clear! Congratulations! I hope it will be built as well as it has been thought.

  • syed

    yet another patternised veil, probably justified by the word 'parametric'.
    the entrance and the lead up to the underside of the building is nice..

    • arch Student

      I'm pretty sure the 'veil' is justified by virtue of it structurally allowing for a large column-less exhibition space while simultaneously modulating light and providing a continuous, yet structurally expressive, back-drop appropriate for the exhibition of contemporary art? Just a guess… It would seem the use of parametric software would justify it being constructed insanely fast (a proposed year and a half).

    • logush

      you act like parametric is a bad word… like post modernism to most. parametric is no longer a style, but a practice that is here to stay. hanif kara utilizes 'parameters' to realize ideas that are deemed parametric design. so unfortunate people won't do their homework on this subject. oh well, a nice design by the recently branded top 100 thinkers.

    • quirkdee

      Just a thought here. This comment is completely justified. Parametric is now becoming a dirty word, autopothesis nonsense. If we wanna live in a world dominated by the scripted, then what is the point of architects? Just grab a script from the hat and it all works. That said, yes there are parametric qualities about the skin, but that is broken by the way they contort that parametric reading. Finally, “column-less” ha, no need to go there. This has columns. It’s a giant brutalist extrusion made with some maya connections. Then you put this nice pretty veil on it. Again, this is not one im scared about. DSR are good architects. Juliard in LA. Lets see a little more blur guys.

  • arch Student

    I find it funny that they forgot to photoshop out the street light seen at the far left edge of the first rendering…

  • orenin

    Sad to see that DS+R have fallen into the fashionable sticky trenches of parametric design, with little thought , devoid of ideas, and full of hedonistic formal investigations…

  • ant

    @ airborn : the problems with this kind of facades are birds ( and guano ) and pollution. those holes have to be protected by intrusions

  • gaque

    Is it not disappointing that the office that gave to the world the brilliant, ground-breaking, truly 21st century Blur Building of Expo 02 in Switzerland is now so starved for ideas that they can't be distinguished from Hadid and her legion of copycats?

  • recon::decon

    The escalator from the lobby is like an anal probe. Seems like a more appropriate entrance for a pornography museum. Or a birthing center. Maybe this museum should be relocated to the Valley.

    The whole design reminds me of a chunky woman's thigh in fishnets, the way the soft blobs are encased in netting that has clearly been stressed and pulled in one too many places. It also seems like a over-worked iterative of Asymptote's YAS Hotel Project, which I think was a much more successful examples of this sausage casing trend that has popped up lately.

    I guess D+S have always been the borrow and steal firm when it comes to building projects – A Neil Denari knock-off for New York, an Asymptote for Los Angeles – so it really isn't surprising the lack of imagination with this project. Downtown LA is turning into a nightmare of poorly conceived architecture.

  • hamana

    where are the bees to live in it?

  • HRH Palladio

    Suprisingly unsurprising.
    But I liked the images it evokes in some of the user's comments :-)
    So let's call it some really talkative architecture.
    Or the end of eclecticism. Finally.

    (Someone will notice the irony behind those words …)