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Touring Grand Avenue's Under-Construction Broad Art Museum

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[Photos by Elizabeth Daniels]

The Broad, philanthropist Eli Broad's vanity museum on Grand Avenue, is pretty much the only architecturally interesting public building on its way up in Los Angeles right now, so enjoy this construction tour as the project hovers around the halfway mark. The three-story museum, designed by New York firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, started work in 2012 and is set to open in late 2014 with--just announced yesterday--free admission. It'll house pieces from the 2,000-strong Broad Art Foundation collection (lots of Jeff Koons, Joseph Beuys, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, etc.) in both classic white-walled galleries and warehousey spaces lit obliquely through the honeycombed exterior (those bent-chimney-looking things in some of the photos are molds for the honeycomb pieces).

Broad midwifed and then abandoned his last contemporary art museum baby (LACMA's BCAM), and while the architecture here couldn't be more different, he's apparently brought along a few favorite features--an extremely long escalator (105 feet), a giant elevator prepped to house a giant work of art. Otherwise, while BCAM is boxy and severe, The Broad is undulating and filled with white and light. The oversized escalator and elevator are joined by a cylindrical glass elevator, all departing from a glass-enclosed lobby.

Besides the lobby, The Broad's first floor houses a 15,000-square-foot gallery with 18-foot ceilings; the top-floor hall is 35,000 square feet (partitions can be installed, but they won't hit the ceiling). The second floor will have offices and a lecture space named Oculus Hall, at the dimpled point in the eastern facade (the architects have named the dip "the oculus"). There'll also be a couple points throughout the museum where visitors can peek into storage, which seems to be the new hotness in museum design.
· The Broad Archives [Curbed LA]

The Broad

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