The facade of Bunker Hill's The Broad museum was officially unveiled this morning as workers removed the last of the exterior scaffolding, and things are not looking quite as originally envisioned. The design, by starchitects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, was originally advertised as an "innovative veil" that will activate "two-way views that connect the museum and the street"; today it's been updated to be, well, a bit less innovative.
The design changes are likely related to the difficulties that have plagued the construction of The Broad, most of which can be tied back to that crazy honeycomb facade. Despite a supersized team of structural engineers that Diller Scofidio + Renfro hired to tackle the exterior, the German architectural fabricator that was actually supposed to make the thing fell short and got themselves sued (by developer/philanthropist Eli Broad, whose funding the project in case you couldn't tell).
Updated renderings available on The Broad's official site reflect what is actually being built now. The simplified design should help the museum achieve its still nebulous opening date of sometime in fall 2015, but probably won't do much to endear critics who have previous described the design as "creative imagination muted, held back and otherwise reined in."
A press release from The Broad about this morning's debut describes the veil as "a structural exoskeleton comprised of 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel that drape over The Broad and appear to lift up at the south and north corners to define two street-level entrances." Designs often change after financial or structural realities set in, but it is surprising to see such changes when the facade is being advertised as nearly as important as the artwork that will eventually fill the building.
· Bunker Hill's The Broad Art Museum Will Open in Fall 2015 [Curbed LA]
· What is Holding Up Bunker Hill's The Broad Art Museum? [Curbed LA]