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How to Build the Broad: Scads of Structural Engineers For Diller Scofidio + Renfro's DTLA Museum

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Now that the Grand Park has partially opened, we can turn our attentions to the next element of the slow-moving Grand Avenue redevelopment--The Broad, philanthropist Eli Broad's vanity museum, one of very few architecturally-interesting buildings going up these days around LA. Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro have created a design they call "the vault and the veil": the veil is an "undulating, honeycomb-like exterior that will shroud the three-level structure ... 'the vault,' is a concrete anchor that, thanks to some tricky architecture and engineering, will appear to float above much of the ground floor while providing a platform for the third-floor main gallery," as described by the Downtown News. Turns out that plan requires some tricky engineering! (A DS+R architect says "There are more structural engineers involved in this project than any project I've ever been involved with.")

According to the DN, the veil, which is made of 4,000 panels in 400 different ovaloid shapes, was originally supposed to be made from precast concrete and to "serve an important structural role," but that would've been too heavy and too expensive. Now the veil will be made out of glass fiber reinforced concrete (it'll seem sort of like fiberglass) and will only have to support itself. The veil, which will start going in in November, will filter the amount of light that hits the art and will "allow museum patrons to see outside, and passersby on the street to peer in" and presumably see what an awesome time everyone's having with Broad's Jeff Koons pieces.

As for the vault, it's about two-thirds done (The Broad's three-level parking structure is also in place). You can see its concrete cantilever jutting out toward Grand Avenue now--the piece was poured over 11 hours and is currently supported by a whole bunch of metal poles (which will eventually be removed; the cantilever will be supported by internal cables).

· Behind the Scenes of Building The Broad [Downtown News]
· Video Reveal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Honeycomb Hideout [Curbed LA]

The Broad

Grand Ave. & Second St., Los Angeles, CA 90012