The Broad Museum Makes a Bold Statement on Grand Avenue

After four years of construction, Eli and Edythe Broad’s museum will finally open its doors to the public

Though the Broad museum doesn’t open its doors on Grand Avenue until September 20, the fingerprints of its billionaire philanthropist namesake have been all over the downtown L.A. thoroughfare for decades. Eli Broad was founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art when it debuted in 1979; during the 1990s, he raised $100 million to complete Frank Gehry’s stalled Walt Disney Concert Hall up the street. Purpose-built to hold pieces from the Broads’ formidable collection, which includes the works of such artists as Jasper Johns and Barbara Kruger, the Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed museum has a minimalist, Hunger Games vibe, with its clear cylindrical elevator, gray plaster interior, and facade of fiberglass-reinforced concrete. Grand Avenue may not yet be our equivalent of Paris’s Champs-élysées, as Broad once envisioned, but it is now home to his personal Arc de Triomphe.

Two primary architectural components make up the Broad museum: “the veil,” the modular white exoskeleton (opposite), and “the vault,” a storage facility with viewing windows that rises through the building’s three stories. Much of Eli and Edythe Broad’s nearly 2,000-piece treasury—including Robert Therrien’s Under the Table (this page)—is displayed in two galleries, which span 50,000 square feet.
Two primary architectural components make up the Broad museum: “the veil,” the modular white exoskeleton (top of page), and “the vault,” a storage facility with viewing windows that rises through the building’s three stories. Much of Eli and Edythe Broad’s nearly 2,000-piece treasury—including Robert Therrien’s Under the Table (above)—is displayed in two galleries, which span 50,000 square feet.

Photograph by Lisa Romerein

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