The New York Times has just published a rather gossipy account of what's going with that proposed downtown site for Eli Broad's art museum. Among other things, the paper reports that architect Thom Mayne was asked to work on a design for the downtown site, at the request of Broad. But in early April, according to the paper, that plan was scrapped. Who wouldn't love to see what Mayne designed for that site? After that plan didn't work out, Broad "initiated a secret competition among six architecture teams, all of whom were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, for the same site. The teams — from the offices of Rem Koolhaas; Diller Scofidio & Renfro; Christian de Portzamparc; Sanaa; Foreign Office Architects; and Herzog & de Meuron — presented their designs to a competition jury last week."
Additionally, the paper reports that the jury liked the designs presented by "Diller Scofido & Renfro [from NYC] and Mr. Koolhaas, and Mr. Broad could make a final choice as early as this week." And in keeping with what many people have been saying "Mr. Broad has been pursuing development of the downtown site, next door to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, for several months now," according to the paper.
For his part, Broad is keeping quiet, only issuing a statement that both a decision on the site and architect will come later this year.
Anyway, back to the two architects that the NYT is betting on: Diller Scofidio famously did the High Line master plan in NYC, while Koolhaas's OMA has designed everything from the Prada store in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles to the CCTV tower in Beijing.
And perhaps the idea of a competition would be more exciting news if this wasn't the second architectural competition Broad has thrown for this museum? When it was planned for Beverly Hills, there was another invited competition to design the museum. At that point, architects including Thom Mayne, Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban, Rafael Viñoly, and Christian de Portzamparc all submitted designs,according to the Architects Newspaper.
Meanwhile, the NY Times reports that on the designs requested by Broad: "With a level of detail unusual for such a brief, Mr. Broad specified, according to those familiar with his plans, that a 5,000-square-foot lobby, a 3,500-square-foot bookstore and part of the archives should be located on the first floor; archives, office space and a conference room on the second; and the galleries on the third and final floor, so that they could be illuminated with skylights."