Plans Unveiled for Diller Scofido + Renfro’s Broad Art Foundation Museum

It seems like ages ago that everyone was waiting with bated breath (or at least casual, passing interest) to find out first where billionaire art collector/professional philanthropist Eli Broad would build his latest museum in California. With that decided, downtown Los Angeles it would be, then it was time for some more waiting to find out what top-shelf architecture firm would build the thing and what he would call it. Now, short of actually, you know, being inside the finished building, the winner of the big gig, top-shelf Diller Scofido + Renfro, has finally unveiled the plans for the the museum, now to be simply called “The Broad.” Located across the street from Frank Gehry‘s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the three-story, Grand Avenue Project museum will come in at around 120,000 square feet, at a cost to Eli and his wife Edyth of roughly $200 million. Here’s the press release, with all the details, including what’s planned for the inaugural show (sort of a best-of from the Broads’ massive modern art collection). Renderings of the proposed building, which is set to be completed in two years, can be found here, and below is a quick fly-through video.

A full description of Diller Scofido + Renfro’s design can be found after the jump.

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. 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.