Five years since The Broad opened in Los Angeles

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro,

Mike Kelley, Ryan Miller.,

Los Angeles, USA,


Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, The Broad is a contemporary art museum in Los Angeles that opened in September 2015. The LEED Gold-certified architecture is launching celebrations for its fifth anniversary by naming its outdoor plaza for its long-time Leading Partner, East West Bank.

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Five years since The Broad opened in Los Angeles The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.  Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the museum is home to 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is one of the world’s leading collections of post-war and contemporary art.
With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the more than 11,000-square-metre building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collections. It is also the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library. 
The museum’s design merges the two key components of the building: public exhibition space - the veil - and collection storage - the vault - supporting the Broad Art Foundation’s lending activities.  Rather than relegating the 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 and public circulation, 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 gallery and provides filtered natural daylight. A 2,200-square-metre public plaza adjacent to the museum adds another parcel of critical green space to Grand Avenue. This inviting green space featuring Barouni olive trees, which are more than 100 years old was designed by MacArthur “genius grant” winners, Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Walter Hood Design Studio. In addition to providing a vibrant outdoor space for the public to enjoy, where programs such as Family Weekend Workshops, Summer Happenings and Soul of a Nation Celebration take place, the plaza will also serve as an entryway to downtown Los Angeles’ arts and culture corridor along Grand Avenue, When a new station opens behind The Broad in 2022 as part of the Metro’s regional connector project extending the Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station. This development further emphasises the efforts The Broad has already made to be in the top tier of eco-conscious, efficient and sustainable museums. The Broad’s environmentally friendly features include electric car charging stations, bike parking spaces, rooftop drains routed to street level gardens that filter runoff and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures that help reduce indoor water use by 40 per cent.
Last week, The Broad inaugurated its many initiatives for its fifth anniversary in 2020 with a public celebration in the plaza. In naming this public urban place East West Bank Plaza, the museum honours East West Bank that has always supported The Broad’s arts education programmes that increase access to contemporary art for a wide and diverse audience. So this user-friendly space that engages with the community and provides a unique platform for the public to experience the museum’s programming now has a new name in honour of the bank that believes in this cultural institution.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Location: Los Angeles
Year: 2015 - anniversary 2020
Images: Ryan Miller and Mike Kelley
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