April 15, 2024


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Extensive expansion: The plan will increase the exhibition space by 70%

Extensive expansion: The plan will increase the exhibition space by 70%

The Broad announced Wednesday a $100 million expansion of the building that will increase the gallery space at one of Los Angeles' most popular museums by 70%. The comprehensive plans could provide a crucial boost to downtown Los Angeles, which has seen a slow recovery since the pandemic and the rise of remote work left the city's core a mere shell of what it once was.

The 55,000-square-foot addition was designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which designed the original museum — built at a cost of $140 million. It will rise directly behind the existing structure, and is expected to break ground in early 2025, with completion expected before the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The plan has been in the works since late 2022 after it became clear that the Broad had exceeded projected visitor expectations, Joan Heller, founding director and president of The Broad, said in an interview. When the Broad opened in 2015, the museum was expected to host approximately 250,000 visitors a year, and by last year more than 900,000 people were walking through the doors annually, Heller said. To date, more than 5.5 million guests have viewed the art inside the building.

“The primary mission of the Broad Museum is to bring in a broad audience and to grow an audience for contemporary art,” Heller said, referring to the Eli and Edith Broad Collection dating back to the 1950s. Edith, now 88, is still collecting. Eli passed away in 2021. “That's what the Broads wanted. He was a big reason the museum was founded in the first place.

About 200 pieces of art are on display at any given time. Heller said the ultimate goal is to share more of the museum's collection of more than 2,000 works of contemporary art, including extensive holdings from influential artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Roy Lichtenstein and Takashi. Murakami, Cindy Sherman, and Kara Walker.

The addition will take the form of a second building connected to the original museum through a door on the third floor and a corridor leading to a courtyard overlooking the sky. From there, guests can make their way through the addition, which features large new galleries on the first, second and third floors, as well as a unique collection of areas on the second floor that serve as an immersive storage vault housing art racks from an extensive collection.

Extensive outdoor view.

(Courtesy of The Broad/Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

The new building essentially reflects the Broad Museum's existing architectural language, which famously and sometimes controversially features a two-tiered design scheme referred to as the Veil And the basement. The veil is the bright white outer shell of the building. It consists of more than 2,500 honeycomb-shaped panels made of fiberglass-reinforced concrete, which act as a kind of peek-a-boo for an interior shell made of glass. At the narrowest points, there is about 36 inches of space between the veil and the glass at the front of the building, making window washing a very difficult task. Hijabs are also prone to streaks in the rain.

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The vault is the soft, sculpted gray core of the building's interior, which visitors ride as they take the elevator to the various gallery floors. The addition is more or less the vault without the veil – and drawings show the same soft gray architecture on the building's exterior, which sits side by side with the original veiled building.

“The idea is that it adds new aspects to the visitor journey through expanded broadband,” Heller says. “In a way, the current building is always talking to you. There will be something similar happening with the expansion, but just a slightly different conversation, as if you were listening to her brother.”

Entry will remain free, and the expansion will not change the advance booking option – which is encouraged – as guests can make reservations up to a month in advance. Visitors without reservations must wait in the daily standby line.

The Broad collection tells an amazing story about a particular time that expands regularly as Edith Broad and Heller continue to add “some of the most important artists of our time,” says Anne Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum at the University of California, who will step down this fall. To the group.”

“This is just another sign that our museums are thriving and that there is demand for them from our audience,” Philbin says.

One of these artists is Mark Bradford. Bradford says the expansion expands the “multi-class, multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-ethnic” conversation in Los Angeles

“Having more space for more artists is a good thing,” Bradford says. “Anytime you can make space for ideas, and expand that — as an artist — I think that's great. Because that's really what this does. It makes more room for ideas. And that's what I see art as: a collection of ideas living together in a physical form.”

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The new building will also provide more spaces for guests to relax and gather. There will be two outdoor plazas on the top floor featuring outdoor-oriented art, as well as a number of live programming spaces with built-in light and sound infrastructure as the museum intends to expand its public programming slate with live streaming. Family-oriented performances, talks, screenings, workshops and school programmes, as well as concerts and multimedia installations.

“I'm excited to open a new chapter for the Broad and provide new and deeper experiences for our visitors,” Heller says, adding that the museum would like to be able to offer, say, more than just the two and two. Three studies are currently being presented. “We work hard as a museum to be very welcoming to everyone, no matter how much artistic knowledge they have acquired, no matter their background or where they come from in Los Angeles or outside of it. And to do this alongside real intellectual rigor in our programs and performances.”

Since The Broad opened in 2015, a lot has changed along Grand Avenue, including the addition of the $1 billion, 45-story Frank Gehry-designed Grand L.A., which sits in a former parking lot across from the adjacent Walt Disney Concert For Broad. The hall includes more than 176,000 square feet of shops and restaurants. The structure is the centerpiece of the larger Grand Avenue Project, a plan to create a thriving civic and cultural corridor including the Music Center, the Broad, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Colburn School.

    An interior view view of the expanded wide space shows visitors and the artwork.

A rendering of a future exhibition in the expanded museum, including artworks from the Broad Collection by Amy Sherald, Elliot Hundley, Patrick Martinez, and Mark Bradford.

(Courtesy of The Broad/Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

Even with these popular destinations lining its sidewalks, the Grand—and downtown in general—has not transformed into the thriving center of urban life that boosters had hoped. Many of the restaurants and bars that once attracted wealthy residents in renovated lofts that opened regularly closed in early 2010. Last January, the ultra-modern 182-room Ace Hotel near Broadway and Olympic closed its doors, Signaling the end of a decade-long era of downtown revitalization hopes. Dense office towers have far fewer workers heading out for lunch, dinner and after-work entertainment. A large amount of storefronts are vacant, and complaints have persisted about the intractability of problems facing businesses due to the large unhoused population.

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In 2020, while Grand Avenue was still under construction, Times classical music critic Mark Swed wrote: “If done right, Grand Avenue has the potential to make Grand Avenue a cultural beacon for a city without a center, a place that represents and represents it.” everyone If properly implemented, the Grand Avenue project becomes a great catalyst, lifting the city's spirit and inspiring it to deal with pressing needs.

Heller takes this description of Grand Avenue seriously, and sees the expansive expansion as part of ongoing progress toward that goal — which has stalled over the years. She notes that the expansion will include a new covered plaza leading to the recently opened Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill subway station.

“This building will create a very dynamic experience for those who will approach Grand Avenue or come to attend events at one of the performance spaces,” she says. “It will serve as a gateway to all of the Grand Avenue area and its institutions, businesses and restaurants.”